India’s Women’s Test Triumph vs. South Africa

In a gripping finale to the one-off Test match at Chepauk, India Women emerged victorious over South Africa Women by ten wickets. The match, which saw standout performances from both teams, was decided in the final session of the last day, highlighting the intense competition and resilience displayed by the players.

India’s Batting Prowess

India’s first innings set the tone for the match, with the team declaring at a formidable 603 for 6. Shafali Verma was the star, scoring a monumental 205 runs, supported by Smriti Mandhana’s elegant 149. Richa Ghosh contributed a crucial 86, and captain Harmanpreet Kaur added 69 runs to the total. Jemimah Rodrigues also chipped in with a solid 55. This batting masterclass put India in a commanding position early in the game.

South Africa’s Spirited Fightback

In response, South Africa managed 266 runs in their first innings, with Marizanne Kapp top-scoring with 74 and Sune Luus adding 65. However, it was Sneh Rana’s incredible bowling performance, taking 8 for 77, that dismantled the South African batting lineup.

Forced to follow on, South Africa began their second innings with determination. Laura Wolvaardt’s magnificent 122 and Sune Luus’s resilient 109 gave the visitors hope. Nadine de Klerk also played a crucial role, scoring 61 and showcasing her ability to play the long game. Despite these valiant efforts, South Africa was bowled out for 373, with Rana once again being instrumental, taking 2 for 111.

The Final Day Drama

South Africa resumed the final day on 232 for 2, still trailing by 105 runs. Wolvaardt quickly reached her century, showing great skill in handling the Indian bowlers. However, the morning session saw crucial breakthroughs for India. Deepti Sharma trapped Marizanne Kapp lbw, Jemimah Rodrigues took a sharp catch to dismiss Delmi Tucker, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad got rid of the well-set Wolvaardt.

Despite a slow and steady afternoon session, where South Africa added just 34 runs in 29 overs, de Klerk’s dogged resistance was notable. She batted for 213 minutes, scoring her maiden Test fifty and keeping the Indian bowlers at bay.

India Seals the Victory

The final session saw a dramatic turn of events. Shafali Verma, showcasing her all-round abilities, bowled a turning delivery to clean up Masabata Klaas. Gayakwad then ended de Klerk’s valiant innings, leaving South Africa with a slender lead of 36 runs. India needed just 9.2 overs to chase down the target, with Shafali and Shubha Satheesh ensuring no further hiccups, finishing at 37 for 0.

Post-Match Reflections

India’s victory was marked by several high points, including Shafali Verma’s double century and Sneh Rana’s exceptional ten-wicket haul. The match also highlighted South Africa’s fighting spirit, especially given their limited red-ball practice. This contest, held at Chepauk, marked the return of women’s Test cricket to the venue after nearly five decades, making it a memorable occasion.

With the Test match concluded, both teams will now shift their focus to the upcoming T20I series, promising more exciting cricket in the days ahead.

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