The South African women’s team registered a five-wicket win over the Indian women’s team today in the low-scoring fifth and final women’s ODI to seal the series 4-1 on Wednesday.

Defending 188, spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad provided an ideal start to India when she dismissed Laura Wolvaardt (0) and Lara Goodall (1) in quick succession. According to Insidesport, skipper Sune Luus and Mignon formed a 24-run stand for the third wicket, but the partnership was cut short by Dayalan Hemalatha in the 11th over, reducing Proteas to 27/3. Anne Bosch then joined Mignon in the middle and both batters mixed caution with aggression to revive Proteas innings and the duo kept on ticking the scoreboard.

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Mithali Raj played a captain’s knock by hitting a well-crafted 79 not out but it was only enough to take India to 188 all out. According to The Times of India, the series marked India’s return to international cricket after 12 months. It is therefore quite possible that they might have been a bit rusty for this series. The team thus needs to polish their batting and bowling skills and get back in form before next year’s grand event – the World Cup.

Priya Punia (18), Punam Raut (10), and Smriti Mandhana (18) all failed to leave a mark with the bat. Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj then got together at the crease and the duo helped in reviving the innings but as soon as the hosts started to gain an upper hand, Harmanpreet (30) had to retire hurt.

Jhulan Goswami (5) and Monica Patel (9) too didn’t trouble the scorers much as Mithali kept India’s innings going single-handedly.

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