Deepti raced to her fourth fifty in seven ODIs this year, with seven fours and a six against her name. © ICC

Deepti raced to her fourth fifty in seven ODIs this year, with seven fours and a six against her name. She chipped in with 3 for 20 with the ball as well. File photo © ICC

An all-round performance from Deepti Sharma scripted India Women’s comfortable ten-wicket win over Ireland Women in their opening match of the quadrangular series at Potchefstroom on Sunday (May 7).

Three wickets each for Ekta Bisht (3 for 24), the left-arm spinner, and Deepti (3 for 20), the offspinner, helped dismiss Ireland for 96 in 44.4 overs. Deepti then helmed the chase with an unbeaten 51 off 47 balls, combining with Poonam Raut to overhaul the target in 18.4 overs.

Asked to bat, Ireland scored at a crawl, the focus of a young and inexperienced side – there were four debutants – seemingly to see through 50 overs. They were 38 for 2 at the halfway mark, but couldn’t capitalise on the wickets in hand in the second half, as their top and middle order failed to build on starts.

India’s openers, as is their style, took their time settling in, before they opened up with a flurry of fours from the ninth over. Deepti, who raced to her fourth fifty in seven ODIs this year, had seven fours and a six against her name. Raut (46) brought up the winning runs with her eighth boundary, taking India past the target to 99.

Brief scores: Ireland Women 96 in 44.4 overs (Jennifer Grey 24, Gaby Lewis 20; Ekta Bisht 3-24, Deepti Sharma 3-20) lost to India Women 99/0 in 18.4 overs (Deepti Sharma 51*, Poonam Raut 46*) by 10 wickets.

South Africa v Zimbabwe 

Shabnim Ismail’s five-wicket haul and Raisibe Ntozakhe’s 3 for 8 on debut set up the hosts’ comprehensive eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe Women in the other match of the day.

Ismail finished with figures of 5 for 25 in 8.5 overs, including two maidens, as she ran through the Zimbabwe line-up. Sharne Mayers, the captain, was the top-scorer with 24 off 29 balls, but received little support.

In fact, the next highest contribution to their eventual 78 all out in 26.5 overs was through 20 extras.

South Africa’s top order needed only 11.4 overs to complete the chase, getting 62 of the 79 runs needed through boundaries.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe Women 78 in 26.5 overs (Sharne Meyers 24; Shabim Ismail 5-25, Raisibe Ntozakhe 3-8) lost to South Africa Women 79/2 in 11.4 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 28, Trisha Chetty 25*) by eight wickets.