South Africa beat India in last-ball thriller as Mithali Raj & Co. crash out of Women’s World Cup 2022

Mignon du Preez scored the winning runs for South Africa on the final ball of the 50th over as the Proteas beat India in a last-ball thriller to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup 2022 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday (March 27). Mithali Raj & Co. produced a splendid fight and took the game down to the wire but ended up falling short at the end to bow out of the tournament.

Du Preez turned out to be the hero for the South Africa women’s team as she played an unbeaten knock of 52 runs off 63 balls under pressure and took her team over the line. She was awarded the Player of the Match award as South Africa’s win confirmed West Indies’ spot in the top four and sent India crashing from the tournament.

India had set up a target of 275 runs for South Africa in the must-win game with a spot in the semi-final on the line. However, the total never proved enough for the Women in Blue as they struggled to contain the South African batting line-up.

South Africa lost opener Lizelle Lee cheaply on 6 off 15 balls at the start of their run-chase after a terrible run-out but Laura Wolvaardt combined with Lara Goodall to steady the ship for the Proteas women. While Wolvaardt played a sensational knock of 80 off 79 balls, Goodall scored 49 off 69 balls. 

The duo added a brilliant stand of 125 runs for the first wicket after a poor start to set up a comfortable run-chase for South Africa. However, South Africa lost both the batters in quick succession to find themselves in a bit of trouble but were rescued by Du Preez (52) and Marizanne Kapp (32), who added 47 runs for the 5th wicket to take their closer to the finish line.

Also Read: Mithali Raj creates world record, becomes oldest Indian cricketer to score half-century in Women’s World Cup

Harmanpreet Kaur brought India back into the game by running out Kapp in the 45th over before Close Tryon (17) was dismissed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the 47th over. It went down the wire with South Africa needing 7 runs to win off the last over. No.8 Trisha Chetty was run out on the second ball of the final over while trying to steal a double before Deepti Sharma got Du Preez caught on the penultimate ball of the 50th over.

However, it was deemed a no-ball which brought the equation down to 2 needed off the last two balls for South Africa. Du Preez and Shabnum Ismail held their nerves to steal singles of the last two deliveries to take their team home and dump India out of the tournament.

Earlier, batting first, India rode on half-centuries from openers Smriti Mandhana (71) and Shafali Verma (53) along with crucial knocks of 68 and 48 runs from skipper Mithali and Harmanpreet respectively to post a fighting total of 275 runs on the board. However, the total didn’t prove enough as South Africa managed to get over the line in the run-chase.

India’s campaign at the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup 2022 came to an end in a heartbreaking manner as the Women in Blue went down fighting. India could only manage to win three out of their seven games in the league stage which cost them a spot in the semis as West Indies, who secured seven points qualified for the knockout stage.

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