After a scintillating show in the Super Six matches, India Women beat South Africa by a wicket in the final of the Women's World Cup qualifiers . Indian Women needed nine runs in the last over and it at once staged show a distant score. Hamanpreet Kaur hit a six and ran briskly for two runs during the last two balls to steal the show.
Both India and South Africa were already assured of places in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 with a round to go in the Super Six stage of the tournament. India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament while South Africa have lost only once – to India.
In the final, South Africa, batting first, scored 244 when batting first with India grabbing the win thanks to Kaur’s heroics in the end to not be phased by pressure.
For South Africa, there was no outright high run scorer with everyone chipping in with scores in 30’s and 40’s but it was M du Preez top-scoring with 40 runs from 72 balls. Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up three wickets for India to finish with 3/51 from 9 overs. Shikha Pandey took two wickets.
In reply, Mona Meshram scored a half century at the top of the order (59 runs from 82 balls) with Deepti Sharma top scoring with 71 runs from 89 balls.
At one stage, India looked to be cruising to victory with 209/4 after 43 overs. But then India lost four wickets in the matter of 14 runs from two overs to throw away the advantage and draw unnecessary pressure at the death.
However, Harmanpreet persisted in the final over despite Poonam Yadav falling late on. But it was the six over deep midwicket on the fifth ball of the over and then a double on the last ball that sealed the deal. The celebrations said how much it meant to the team with Kaur hoisting her bat up in the air and then went on to hug her teammates in delirious celebrations.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are the other teams to have qualified from this tournament to join Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies for the World Cup.