India beat SA by 2 runs

India beat SA by 2 runs

Mandhana hit by bouncer, retires hurt; Pak upset NZ; Aus thrash WI

Rangiora (New Zealand): India began their build-up to the women's Cricket World Cup on a winning note as the Mithali Raj-led side defeated South Africa by two runs in their first warm-up match at the Rangiora Oval on Sunday.

Meanwhile in other warm-up matches, Pakistan inflicted an upset four-wicket win over hosts New Zealand at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, while Australia thrashed West Indies by 90 runs at Lincoln Green.

For Pakistan, Aliya Riaz was the hero, bludgeoning an unbeaten 62 from 52 balls, including eight boundaries and hitting the winning runs in the final over of play.

Ellyse Perry starred with the bat and ball in Australia's thumping win over the West Indies. Ellyse top-scored with 62 off 77 balls to take Australia to 259/7. Apart from her, young all-rounder Annabel Sutherland chipped in with an unbeaten 54 off 37 balls.

Inserted into batting first, India were dealt with an early blow as batting stalwart Smriti Mandhana took a vicious blow on the head when she was struck by a bouncer from pacer Shabnim Ismail. A team doctor assessed the 25-year-old Mandhana following the incident and originally declared her fit to continue only to retire hurt an over-and-a-half later after another consultation.

At the time Mandhana retired hurt, the left-hander was unbeaten on 12 from 23 deliveries. But the blow did not affect India's charge in the warm-up game as Harmanpreet Kaur scored a century (103 off 114 deliveries) and top-order batter Yastika Bhatia scored a patient 78-ball 58 to guide the team to 244/9 in their allotted 50 overs.

Yastika was measured in her start, moving into her innings with four boundaries and a six to score an important fifty. Mithali Raj was run out for duck after a mix-up with Yastika.

But India's innings belonged to Harmanpreet Kaur, who raced along with little risk. The right-hander held the innings together with the lower order, ticking over to three figures in the latter stages of the innings with the help of nine boundaries.

Chasing 245 looked a tricky proposition for South Africa. Eventually, the Proteas fell short despite the work of captain Sune Luus and opening batter Laura Wolvaardt. Luus made a professional 98-ball 86, manipulating the field through smart batting with shots around the wicket, in spite of a green surface and a slow outfield.

India's next warm-up match in the Women's World Cup will now be against the West Indies on Tuesday at the Rangiora Oval.

India Women 244/9 in 50 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 103, Yastika Bhatia 58; Ayabonga Khaka 3/23) beat South African Women 242/7 in 50 overs (Sune Luus 86, Laura Wolvaardt 83; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 4/46) by two runs.

New Zealand women 229 all out in 45 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 80, Maddy Green 58; Nashra Sandhu 4/32) lost to Pakistan women 233/6 in 49.2 overs (Aliya Riaz 62 not out, Nida Dar 54; Jess Kerr 2/30) by four wickets.

Australia women 259/7 in 50 overs (Ellyse Perry 62, Annabel Sutherland 54 not out; Stafanie Taylor 3/51) beat West Indies women 169/9 (Stafanie Taylor 66, Hayley Matthews 24, Ellyse Perry 2/6) by 90 runs.

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