Lara Goodall’s career-best half century helped the Proteas women’s team complete their highest successful One-Day International chase as they beat India Women by seven wickets to surge into an unassailable 3-1 lead at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.
Set a target of 267, the in-form Lizelle Lee struck 69 (75 balls, 10 fours), stand-in captain Laura Wolvaardt hit 53 (78 balls, 6 fours), Player of the Match Mignon du Preez attacked with 61 off 55 balls (8 fours, 1 six) and the solid Goodall made an unbeaten 59 off 66 balls (5 fours) as South Africa won with eight balls to spare.
Their chase beat the previous highest of 265 against England at Centurion in 2015/16 and also secured a third successive series triumph after they beat New Zealand (2020) and Pakistan (2021) in their previous two 50-over outings.
In between that, coach Hilton Moreeng’s charges also reached the T20 World Cup semi-final in Australia last year, an indication that they are a team making substantial gains in the world game.
The Proteas had been impressive in their two wins so far on their tour to India, which is taking place in a bio-secure environment (BSE) in Lucknow, with their latest result meaning they have secured the series with a game to spare.
But they will go into that game on Wednesday full of confidence following Sunday’s assured win, built around the batsmen.
The bowlers had earlier conceded 266 for four after Wolvaardt, again standing in as captain for the injured Sune Luus, won the toss and opted to field first.
The innings of the host was built around Punam Raut’s third career century after she top-scored with an unbeaten 104 (123 balls, 10 fours).
Harmanpreet Kaur also plundered 54 off 35 balls (7 fours, 1 six), while there were useful contributions from skipper Mithali Raj (45) and Priya Punia (32).
For the South Africans, Nondumiso Shangase (1/41) was most impressive, along with Ayabonga Khaka (0/26). Shabnim Ismail (1/50) also claimed a wicket, while the most successful bowler was Tumi Sekhukhune with two for 63.
With a huge target in front of them, the Proteas set out towards the target with an impressive Lee-Wolvaardt stand that yielded 116. The two set the tone from the outset by scoring 79 in the first 15 overs and that allowed for their side to stay ahead of the chase.
After both fell in quick succession, the baton was taken up boldly by Du Preez and Goodall. The two added 103 for the third wicket to drain the Indian bowlers and continue the momentum in favour of the tourists.
Du Preez was removed with 31 to get, but Marizanne Kapp stepped in an blasted 22 off 18 balls to help Goodall complete the job.