Batswomen Harmanpreet's last-over six helps India beat SA to clinch final
The victorious Indian team after beating South Africa in the ICC Women's World Cup qualifier final in Colombo yesterday
Colombo: Harmanpreet Kaur blasted a six in the penultimate delivery to power India to a one-wicket win over South Africa in a last-ball thriller at the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier final at P Sara Oval here yesterday.
Needing nine off six balls, Indian women were staring at defeat when they lost Poonam Yadav (7) in the first delivery.
With just one wicket in hand and only one run scored off the first four deliveries, India did not have much going for it but Harmanpreet heaved a six over the mid-wicket fence off the penultimate delivery and then a lofted shot towards long on brought the two runs required off the last ball.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad scampered home to complete the double as other Indian players ran on to the ground in celebration of a memorable win.
"To be honest, I was waiting for that ball because that is my strong area. I know like we needed nine runs in the final over and I was going to hit the ball. If we run then we will go for two runs.
"My partner also did a great job and ran two runs. It was a totally team effort from our side," Harmanpreet said.
Chasing 245 to win, opener Mona Meshram (59) and Deepti Sharma (71) were the star players for India as they added 122-run innings for the first wicket to lay the foundation for the run chase.
Earlier, Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3-51) claimed three wickets in her nine overs, while S Pandey took two wickets to help India bowl out South Africa for 244 in 49.4 overs.
M du Preez (40) was the top-scorer for South Africa women, while van Niekerk (37) and L Lee (37) got starts but failed to consolidate into big scores.
Already assured of a place in this year's Women's World Cup, India continued their invincible run at the tournament after overhauling the target in the last over.
South Africa 244 in 49.4 overs (M du Preez 40, D van Niekerk 37; R Gayakwad 3-51) lost to India 245-9 in 50 overs (D Sharma 71, M Meshram 59; M Kapp 2-36) by one wicket
@virendersehwag: Congratulations @BCCIWomen on becoming the #WWC17 Qualifier Champions! Great finish and really proud of you.
@ashwinravi99: Amazing win by the @BCCIWomen team, they have had a good 12 months now. Special mention to the very talented @ImHarmanpreet
@bhogleharsha: 8 to get off 2 balls and Harmanpreet Kaur gets them to win the qualifiers. Great way to go to an event they should have been in anyway!