India beat South Africa women's Test

India beat South Africa by 10 wickets in the one-off women’s Test match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

After defeating England and Australia in the winter of 2023/24, India beat South Africa by 10 wickets at Chennai to complete a full set of triumphs against all active Test-playing nations. This was also the second time India won three consecutive Test matches, after another streak between 2001 and 2002/03. Three consecutive wins is a world recoed equalled by Australia (thrice).

Requiring only 37 to win at barely more than a run an over, India sent out Shubha Satheesh to open with Shafali Verma, who had broken a plethora of records on day one en route to a double hundred. They completed the chase in 9.2 overs to win by ten wickets.

South Africa resist, but not long enough

Having followed on 337 runs behind, South Africa came out on the final day on 232-2. Laura Wolvaardt soon brought up her maiden Test ton, and became the third woman to score an international hundred in each of the three formats

Deepti Sharma (2-95) trapped Marizanne Kapp (31) leg-before just inside the first hour. In the next over, new batter Delmi Tucker hit one uppishly off Sneh Rana (2-111), and Jemimah Rodrigues held a low catch.

Wolvaardt’s 314-ball, 393-minute marathon 122 finally came to an end when a ball from Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-55) did not bounce as expected and hit her on the pad. South Africa went to lunch at 302-5 and, when they resumed, Sinalo Jafta did not.

Annerie Deckerson went next when she tried to flick Pooja Vastrakar, missed the line completely, and was trapped in front of the stumps. Nadine de Klerk then pushed a ball to Gayakwad at extra-cover and set off for a single, leaving Tumi Sekhukhune with little option but to sacrifice her wicket.

Jafta resumed her innings, only to perish soon afterwards. Rana tossed a ball outside off stump. It held its line but Jafta played for the turn, and Shubha took an excellent catch, diving to her left. Masabata Klaas resisted for 33 balls on either side of tea, but Harmanpreet Kaur’s introduction of Verma did the trick. Verma turned a ball by the proverbial mile to bowl Klaas through the gate.

De Klerk (61) took more risks as No.11 Nonkuleleko Mlaba walked out. She swung at a few and mostly missed, and Gayakwad hit timber in one of these.

Despite having played little red-ball cricket, South Africa did well to thwart the Indian attack for 238.5 balls across the two innings. The 373 they made in their second attempt is now the second-highest third-innings total in the history of women’s Test cricket. 

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