Priya Punia shines on ODI debut with unbeaten 75
Smriti Mandhana's replacement Priya scores unbeaten 75 to help India beat SA by 8 wickets in opening tie
Vadodara: Debutant Priya Punia starred in injured Smriti Mandhana's absence following a fine bowling performance to set up India's emphatic eight-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI here yesterday. South Africa struggled with the bat after winning the toss, bowled out for 164 in 45.1 overs. It was an all-round bowling effort from India with Jhulan Goswami (3-33), Shikha Pandey (2-38), Ekta Bisht (2-8) and Poonam Yadav (2-33) sharing the bulk of the wickets.
India cantered to victory in 41.4 overs with openers Punia (75 not out off 124 balls) and Jemimah Rodrigues (55 off 65 balls) laying the foundation for a resounding win. The three-match series is not part of the Women's ODI Championship. Punia, who has played three T20 Internationals, got the chance to play her maiden ODI after star opener Mandhana was ruled out on the eve of the game due to a fracture on her right toe. Punia hit eight boundaries.
Rodrigues was back among runs after a lean run in the preceding five-match T20 series and shared an 83-run stand with Punia. It was a second ODI half-century for Rodrigues, who smashed seven fours. It was also captain Mithali Raj's first game for India since March. Raj retired from T20s last month. After Goswami trapped Lizelle Lee on the first ball of the day, opener Laura Wolvaardt (39) and Trisha Chetty (14) tried to steady the innings.
From 89 for three, South Africa collapsed to 115 for seven. In the end, they did well to post 164 but it turned out to be a comfortable chase for the Indians. Marizanne Kapp top scored for South Africa with 54 off 64 balls.
Raj is 1st woman to play intl cricket for 20 yrs
Vadodara: India captain Mithali Raj yesterday became the first female player to last more than 20 years in international cricket. Mithali, who made her ODI debut against Ireland on June 26, 1999, completed 20 years and 105 days in the 50-over format. She, thus, became the only female cricketer to have played ODI cricket for over two decades. The right-handed batswoman has played 204 ODIs till now, the most by a female, followed by England's Charlotte Edwards (191), Jhulan Goswami (178), Alex Blackwell (144) of Australia. Mithali, 36, has also played 10 Tests and 89 T20Is.
No. of Indians including Priya Punia, who have registered a50-plus score on ODI debut
SA 164 in 45.1 overs (M Kapp 54, L Wolvaardt 39; J Goswami 3-33, E Bisht 2-28, P Yadav 2-33, S Pandey 2-38) lost toIndia 165-2 in 41.4 overs (P Punia 75*, J Rodrigues 55; N de Klerk 1-29) by 8 wickets
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