There was much outrage on Twitter as India Women vs South Africa Women ODI was neither telecast nor streamed on any channel in India. Let alone telecasting, even the scorecards of major cricket websites were not put out correctly. BCCI Women Twitter handle had to delete a few tweets after they provided wrong information about the match. There were barely any regular updates on the BCCI app or website as well. Cricket fans were left helpless as they kept asking where to watch the match.
However, good news came in from Diamond Oval, Kimberley as Mithali Raj’s side thrashed the hosts, beating them by a big margin of 88 runs in the first ODI. On February 6, Cricket South Africa’s Youtube page finally uploaded some footage of the match with excerpts of interviews from players and coaches post the first ODI.
On a wicket which was tough to bat on, opener Smriti Mandhana got off to a good start. Mandhana scored 84 runs from 98 balls, including 8 fours and 1 six. She shared a crucial 99-run partnership with the captain. Raj missed out on her half-century; she scored 45 runs from 70 balls with the help of two boundaries.
Team India suffered a batting collapse and could not capitalise on the foundation Mandhana-Raj built. Team India put on 213 for 7 wickets in 50 overs. Mandhana also became the third-fastest Indian batswoman to reach 1,000 ODI runs.
Indian bowlers dominated batters straight away. They picked up three quick wickets in the first powerplay and put South Africa on the back foot. As a result, they were bowled out for 125 with 40 balls to spare. Jhulan Goswami took four wickets whereas Shikha Pandey took three. Goswami also reached 1,000 ODI runs.
South Africa skipper Dane Van Niekerk top-scored with 41 runs from 88 balls, including 2 boundaries. Only three other batswomen could score in double digits while everyone else failed.
The next ODI will be played on February 7, but will Indian fans finally get to watch the match live? Only time will tell.