Deepti Sharma was the architect of India's ten-wicket win over Zimbabwe with figures of 4 for 17 and was named Player of the Match as well. © Getty Images

Deepti Sharma was the architect of India’s ten-wicket win over Zimbabwe with figures of 4 for 17 and was named Player of the Match as well. © Getty Images

India Women v Zimbabwe Women
Deepti Sharma (4 for 17) and Poonam Yadav (4 for 11) returned combined figures of 8 for 28 to star in India’s ten-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their last league game of the quadrangular series at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday (May 19).

After Zimbabwe were dismissed for 98 in 42.3 overs, India rode on an unbroken opening stand of 99 between Veda Krishnamurthy (50 not out) and Harmanpreet Kaur (39 not out) to finish the game in 16 overs.

Having opted to bat first, Zimbabwe lost Loren Tshuma in the second over when Shikha Pandey trapped her in front. Jhulan Goswami had Precious Marange caught by Veda as Zimbabwe became 16 for 2 in 4.4 overs.

After that it was a complete Deepti-Poonam show. Deepti was the first to strike in the 15th over when Pandey caught Modester Mupachikwa for 12. Poonam joined the party with the first ball of the second over when Mithali Raj caught Anesu Mushangwe at extra cover.

The big wicket came in the 23rd over when Mugeri stepped out to Deepti but lost balance and was stumped. Two balls later, Deepti bowled Pellagia Mujaji as Zimbabwe lost three wickets at the score of 63 in a space of 15 balls.

Mugeri top scored with 34, and the second best effort came from Josephine Nkomo. She made 27 from No.8 before being stumped off Poonam. Her four boundaries might have given Zimbabwe hope of crossing the 100-run mark, but the last three wickets went down for two runs. As many as four Zimbabwe players failed to open their accounts.

With Harmanpreet and Veda not having got much batting practice through the tournament, the team management yet again promoted them to open the innings – a ploy they have been using regularly since the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Colombo earlier this year. They made use of the chance by remaining unbeaten, and hitting 15 fours and a six between them.

Deepti won her third player of the match award of the tournament.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe Women 98 all out in 42.3 overs (Chipo Mugeri 34, Josephine Nkomo 27; Deepti Sharma 4-17, Poonam Yadav 4-11) lost to India Women 99/0 in 16 overs (Veda Krishnamurthy 50 n.o, Harmanpreet Kaur 39 n.o) by ten wickets.

South Africa Women v Ireland Women
Andrie Steyn’s 117 and her opening stand of 209 with Sune Luus (83) set the tone for South Africa’s 120-run win over Ireland at North-West University No.1 Ground in Potchefstroom.

After winning the toss, South Africa made 323 for 8 and then restricted Ireland to 203 for 6. Ayabonga Khaka was South Africa’s best bowler with returns of 3 for 15.

Steyn and Luus became only the ninth pair in the history of Women’s ODIs to have a 200-plus opening stand. It was also South Africa’s second best partnership for any wicket, behind an unbroken fourth-wicket association of 224 runs between Johmari Logtenberg and Mignon du Preez against Netherlands Women in August 2007.

Styen’s maiden century is now South Africa’s third-best individual score in Women’s ODIs. She hit a total of 16 fours in her 123-ball knock before being the second wicket to fall in the innings.

Laura Boylan removed both the openers by 38th over. South Africa were kept under check after that but they had a strong base to post their second-ever 300-plus score, the first being 337 for 5 against the same opponent earlier in the tournament.

Trisha Chetty took care of the last phase of the innings with a 26-ball 33 before being caught behind in the final over.

Rachel Delaney was Ireland’s best bowler with figures of 3 for 70.

Ireland started their chase steadily with an opening stand of 54 between Mary Waldron and Leah Paul. But Khaka had both of them lbw in a space of 14 runs as Ireland became 68 for 2 in 17.4 overs.

After that, only Waldron crossed 25, and it was never going to be enough in a big chase.

Both India and South Africa, who will play the final on May 21, ended with 24 points, but India ended ahead on the table because of a better run-rate of 2.693.

Brief scores: South Africa Women 323/8 in 50 overs (Andrie Steyn 117, Sune Luus 83, Chloe Tryon 28, Trisha Shetty 33; Aoife Beggs 2-56, Rachel Delaney 3-70, Laura Boylan 2-37) beat Ireland Women 203/6 in 50 overs (Mary Waldron 41, Gaby Lewis 26, Shauna Kavanagh 24, L Boylan 25 n.o.; Ayabonga Khaka 3-15) by 120 runs.