The India women’s team registered a great win over South Africa by eight wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series Vadodara on Wednesday. They showed a great show with both bat and ball. While Jhulan Goswami (3/33), Shikha Pandey (2/38), Ekta Bisht (2/28) and Poonam Yadav (2/33) starred with the ball, debutant openers Priya Punia (75 not out) and Jemimah Rodrigues (55) made the foundation with the bat to help India clinch a convincing win at the Reliance Stadium. Opting to bat, South Africa got off to a poor start and the Indian bowlers kept on taking wickets in regular interval.
Laura Wolvaardt (39) and Marizanne Kapp (54) were the only two batters who tried to help South Africa reach a moderate total of 164 before they were bowled out within 45.1 overs. While chasing the target, Priya Punia, who was making her ODI debut and Jemimah Rodrigues played beautifully as the duo stitched an 83-run opening partnership. In the 21st over, Rodrigues got trapped before the wicket while she tried for a sweep off the bowling of Nondumiso Shangase. Priya Punia was then joined by Punam Raut (16) and both built a 45-run partnership to help India reach the 100-run mark.
Raut however, fell in the 32nd over as she too was dismissed like Rodrigues. Punia and then the experienced campaigner as well as India ODI captain Mithali Raj (11 off 24) then joined hands and stitched a 37-run partnership and they comfortably reached the target in 41.4 overs.
Priya Punia was unbeaten at 75 which came off 124 balls, with eight boundaries. She was adjudged the Player of the Match. Both the sides will next face each other on Friday in the second ODI at the same venue.