AgencyVadodara: 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 on Wednesday. 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.
Mithali Raj becomes first female to complete 2 decades in international cricketVadodara: India captain Mithali Raj on Wednesday became the first female player to last more than 20 years in international cricket.She achieved the feat while leading India to an emphatic eight-wicket win over South Africa women in the first ODI of the three-match series here on Wednesday. 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 for India. She retired from T20 cricket last month.
India cantered to victory in 41.4 overs with openers Punia (75 not out off 124) and Jeminah Rodrigues (55 off 65) 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. The 23-year-old from Jaipur 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.
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