Dane van Niekerk came up with a superb all-round performance as South Africa dominated with both bat and ball to thrash India by 115 runs in a group match of the women’s cricket World Cup here on Saturday.
This was the first defeat of the tournament for India who had wo their previous matches by comfortable margins. They are now second on the table behind Australia with eight points from five matches.
South Africa are fourth with seven points from five games. They are on the same number of points as third placed New Zealand but are trailing on net run rate.
Batting first, South Africa rode on half-centuries from Lizelle Lee and Dane to post a challenging 273/9 in their allotted 50 overs.
Dane then returned figures of 4/22 in her 10 overs as India were dismissed for 158 runs in 46 overs.
Lee was the highest scorer for South Africa with a breezy 92 runs off 65 balls. Her knock, which included 10 boundaries and seven sixes, helped stabilise the innings following the early departure of fellow opener Laura Wolvaardt.
Lee subsequently posted a 91-run partnership with Trisha Chetty and a 42-run stand with Mignon du Preez to lay the foundation of a big total.
Lee was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a well-deserved century when she was trapped leg before while attempting to smash a delivery from off-spinner Harmanpreet Kaur over mid-wicket.
Dane then took charge in the middle, scoring 57 runs in 66 balls with seven boundaries and a six.
She received good support from Chloe Tyron who scored 24 runs off 18 balls, hitting two sixes and a boundary along the way.
Pacer Shikha Pandey was the most successful among the Indian bowlers with figures of 3/40.
The Indian innings ran into trouble right at the start as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Deepti was the highest scorer for India with 60 runs off 111 balls with five hits to the fence. But she waged a lonely battle as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Jhulan Goswami was the only other Indian batter who managed to stand upto the South African bowlers with an unbeaten 43 off 79 balls.
Dane ran amok with her leg-spin in the early stages as the Indians were reduced to 7/65 by the end of the 20th over.
Deepti and Jhulan managed to stem the rot for a while, batting together for 18.2 overs, adding 53 runs between them.
That was the only bit of resistance the Indians could manage on the day. When Dane dismissed Deepti with the first ball of the 39th over, a South African victory was only a matter of time.
South Africa: 273/9 in 50 overs (Lizelle Lee 92, Dane van Niekerk 57; Shikha Pandey 3/40) beat India 158 in 46 overs (Deepti Sharma 60, Jhulan Goswami 43 not out; Dane van Niekerk 4/22) by 115 runs.