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India Women Cricketers Secure World Cup 2021 Spot



After a scintillating performance in the last World Cup, only to lose the final against England, India have secured their participation in the 2021 after beating South Africa in the ongoing three-match women's ODI series. The Mithali Raj-led team took a 2-0 lead after their 178-run win in the second ODI as the series was also serving as the first-round fixture of the ICC Women's Championship and whichever team would win, would get a direct entry in the net edition of the women's World Cup in 2021.

India was playing is their first international match since going down to England in the final of the last year's Women's World Cup.
In the second ODI, Smriti Mandhana struck 135 runs to help the Indian women's cricket team hammer South Africa by 178 runs. Smriti scored a 129-ball 135, which included 14 fours and a six, while vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur (55 not out off 69 balls) and Veda Krishnamurthy (51 not out off 33) accelerated the innings and scored a mammoth 302/3 in the second game.
India then rode on impressive spin bowling from leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (4/24), left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/14), off-spinner Deepti Sharma 2/34) to bowl out the hosts for 124 in 30.5 overs as India gained valuable points for the World Cup 2021 qualification.
Right-handed opening batswoman Lizelle Lee made a lonely effort for the hosts, scoring 73 off 75 deliveries. Apart from Lizelle, who notched her 13th fifty, Marizanne Kapp (17) was the only other South African who managed to reach double figure.
Earlier, put in to bat, the visitors got off to a flier with Smriti and Poonam Raut (20 off 37) putting on 56 runs, before Poonam departed caught behind by Trisha Chetty off pacer Marizanne. Her dismissal brought in veteran skipper Mithali Raj (20 off 34), who added 51 runs in the company of Smriti, who by then had crossed her half century off 64 deliveries.
Having lost two wickets, Harmanpreet joined forces with Smriti and the duo frustrated the South Africans with quality strokeplay.
Smriti, who struck a 98-ball 84 in the opening match, took her time and smartly got to the three-figure mark off 116 balls, before taking the attack to the opposition, resulting in a 134-run third wicket stand with Harmanpreet. Just when it appeared that the duo will bat the hosts out of the game, off-spinner Raisibe Ntozakhe struck with the crucial wicket of Smriti, who registered her third ODI century.
But the joy was short-lived for the Protea women with Veda going all guns blazing for her 33-ball half century, which resulted in a 61-run undefeated stand with Harmanpreet.