The opener saw the visitors home after a half-century for Mithali Raj
South Africa 223 for 4 (Lee 132*, Goswami 2-20) beat India 248 for 5 (Raut 77, Ismail 2-46) by six runs (DLS method)
A career-best 132 not out from Lizelle Lee helped South Africa to a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series as they were six runs ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) par score, when an unseasonal shower ended the match in the 47th over of the visitors’ chase of 249. South Africa were on course, on 223 for 4, led by Lee’s third ODI century, and needed 26 from 21 when rain interrupted and just under half an hour the match was called off with South Africa winners as the DLS score to win then was 218.
Put in to bat, India scored 248 for 5, powered by a steady 77 from Punam Raut, with identical contributions of 36 from captain Mithali Raj – who brought up 10,000 runs in international cricket – Deepti Sharma and Harmanpreet Kaur.
After 36 overs, South Africa were cruising along at 178 for 2 after Lee had brought up a century off just 97 balls, and her partnership with Mignon du Preez was approaching three figures. In fact, du Preez had just skipped down the pitch to Jhulan Goswami, whose first two spells had given her figures of 6-2-9-1, and lofted her over long-on for the second six of the South Africa innings to kick off the batting powerplay.
Yet, the next four overs brought South Africa just four runs because du Preez (37) and Marizanne Kapp (0) perished inside a span of 10 balls without the visitors adding any runs, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Goswami the successful bowlers, as the pressure grew on Lee, left in the company of a relatively inexperienced middle order.
With the sky darkening, and a light drizzle starting, Lee then slapped Poonam Yadav through midwicket for six, and picked up three further boundaries in the space of nine balls off Sharma and Kaur to keep South Africa ahead of the DLS par score as the umpires kept conferring about whether to continue or not. As the rain became heavier, South Africa walked off with the knowledge that Lee had placed them ahead of the DLS score.
Earlier, South Africa had quite the dramatic start to the day, with captain Sune Luus pulling up ill ahead of the toss, forcing 21-year-old Laura Wolvaardt to step into the captain’s shoes for the first time in her 83rd international game. Wolvaardt also had to cope with the loss of regular wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty, who was injured during warm-up and replaced by Sinalo Jafta.
Full report to follow…