Shikha Pandey’s returns of 5 for 20 stood out in India Women’s six-wicket win over Zimbabwe Women in a warm-up clash at the Witrand Cricket Field in Potchefstroom on Thursday (May 4), ahead of the four-nation quadrangular series also involving South Africa Women and Ireland Women.
Having chosen to bat first, Zimbabwe were dismissed for 106 in 41 overs, before India rode on a second-wicket stand of 62 between Deepti Sharma (29) and Mona Meshram (27) to reach the target in 20.3 overs.
Jhulan Goswami, who has not played an international game since December last year because of a shoulder injury, struck with the first ball of the match, trapping Loren Tshuma in front of the wicket.
Pandey was in business in the very next over when Modester Mupachikwa was bowled. She then cleaned up Aneshu Mushangwe and had Mary-Anne Musonda caught behind off successive deliveries to reduce Zimbabwe to 24 for 4 in 7.2 overs.
Chipo Mugeri, who top-scored with 46, and Pellagia Mujaji added 31 before Poonam Yadav, who had taken 5 for 19 against the same opposition in the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Colombo earlier this year, accounted for Mujaji.
Not long after that, Ekta Bisht bowled Sharne Mayers, the captain. Mugeri and Precious Marange, who hit three sixes and a four in her 27-ball 25, added 43 to take Zimbabwe to 101 before both fell in the space of three balls.
Harmanpreet Kaur had Mugeri, who hit five fours in her 112-ball knock over 118 minutes, caught behind off the last ball of the 35th over. Then, Deepti dismissed Marange with the second ball of the 36th over.
Pandey, who bowled the most number of overs – seven – among the eight bowlers used by India, needed six balls to pick up the last two wickets and end the innings.
Deepti was India’s most economical bowler with figures of 7-4-6-1.
After Poonam Raut, returning to the team after a long gap, fell in the fourth over of the chase, Deepti and Meshram hit seven fours and two sixes between them. The duo and Harmanpreet fell for the addition of three runs, but Mithali Raj, the captain, and Veda Krishnamurthy completed the task. India opted to bat on further for practice, and Raj, who was on 11 when victory was achieved, helped herself to an 87-ball 94, laced with 14 fours and a six, before retiring out.
Goswami retired out for 54 before India were eventually dismissed for 291 in 49.1 overs.
Eshter Mbofana and Josephine Nkomo were Zimbabwe’s most successful bowlers with two wickets each.
South Africa score
A captain’s knock of 67 by Laura Delany from No. 3 went in vain as Ireland lost to South Africa by eight wickets in the other warm-up game at the North-West University No. 2 Ground.
Opting to bat first, Ireland were reduced to 13 for 3 before Delany and Shauna Kavanagah added 49. Delany was the seventh wicket to fall in the 43rd over, but lacked substantial support from the other end throughout her stay in the middle. Amy Kenealy’s 11-ball 16 took Ireland to 157 for 8.
South Africa started strongly as Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt put on an opening stand of 54. Lee and Trisha Chetty fell within ten runs of each other but Lee, who remained unbeaten on 57, and Mignon du Preez (47 not out) put on an unbroken stand of 94 in 13.5 overs. South Africa reached 158 for 2 in 27.2 overs to wrap up the game.
With Dane van Niekerk ruled out with a foot injury, South Africa were led by Sunne Luus, the player of the series at the Qualifiers.
The tournament proper starts on May 7, with South Africa taking on Zimbabwe and India facing Ireland on the opening day.