Moodley fifty gives South Africa series win
South Africa Women 184 for 6 (Moodley 54, du Preez 46, Goswami 2-27) beat India Women 180 (Pandey 59, Kaur 42, Loubser 3-28, Letsoalo 3-46) by four wickets
A composed half-century from Nadine Moodley helped South Africa Women successfully chase down 181 in the third ODI in Bangalore and take the series 2-1. The result put South Africa in second spot in the ICC Women's Championship.
South Africa won the toss for the first time this series and put India in to bat, looking to follow the same formula that brought them success in the first ODI. Before the start of play, both teams observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who died on 27 November after being hit by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match. The South Africans wore black armbands in tribute to Hughes, while the Indians wore black ribbons on the sleeve.
The Indians got off to a sluggish start, and were 9 for 2 in the 12th over, with opener Poonam Raut scoring her first runs off only the 35th ball that she faced. However, Shikha Pandey, India's match winner from the previous game, upped the scoring rate with a run-a-ball 59. Pandey and Mithali Raj posted 67 for the fourth wicket, and helped India add 80 between the 16th and 30th overs. "We've been looking for an allrounder for a while and the fact that Shikha performed well with both bat and ball may be our biggest positive from this series," Raj said after the game.
Despite a brisk knock from Harmanpreet Kaur, 42 off 39 balls, exactly as much she scored in the second ODI, the Indians were unable to push on to a position of strength, and eventually folded for 180.
As has been the norm this series, Jhulam Goswami provided India with early breakthroughs during South Africa's reply. Captain Mignon du Preez, 46 off 59 balls, and Nadine Moodley, 54 off 90 balls, put on a series-best partnership of 108 to steer South Africa from 13 for 2. "I'm glad that I was given the opportunity to bat at No. 3, and I also took confidence from the 40 I scored in the Test match to perform in this game," Moodley said.
India's Deepti Sharma provided some hope with twin-strikes in the 29th over, removing both du Preez and Moodley. However, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk and Loubser made useful contributions to ensure that South Africa completed their fourth-highest successful chase in ODIs.
India and South Africa have now played two bilateral ODI series, one in each country, with South Africa winning both.
Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub editor at ESPNCricinfo. @bishen_jeswant