Women's World Cup Qualifiers 2017 February 17, 2017

South Africa, India qualify for Women's World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

File photo - Suné Luus took three wickets and struck a half century to headline South Africa's nine-wicket win over Bangladesh © Getty Images/ICC

South Africa Women restricted Sri Lanka Women to 142 for 9 and chased the target down with nine wickets and 83 balls to spare at the P Sara Oval. The big win helped South Africa qualify for the Women's World Cup to be held in England and Wales from 24 June to 23 July.

Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt laid the platform for the chase with a 46-run opening partnership. The stand ended when Eshani Lokusuriyage had Lee caught by Chamari Atapattu in the ninth over. Wolvaardt and Suné Luus, however, hit unbeaten half-centuries to seal the win.

Luus was at it with the ball too, taking 3 for 40 in 10 overs with her legspin. Dane van Niekerk, the other legspinner, complemented her with 2 for 14 in 10 overs, including four maidens. Sri Lanka lost wickets in a heap with only four of their batsmen reaching double-figures. Opener Nipuni Hansika top scored with 48 off 96 balls, including six fours.

"It was a very important match for us, not just to qualify but I think for us to keep the pressure off the next game as well," Luus said after the game. "The pace bowlers set the match up nicely and the batters could just do their job.

"Fielding is something we need to improve and we are busy working on it. We are a much better side than we are displaying at the moment. This [qualification] is what we have been working for. I think we are going to celebrate tonight but also not lose sight of what's coming. We are playing Ireland next and hopefully a final!"

File photo - Mithali Raj struck her 43rd ODI fifty © ICC

An unbroken 136-run stand between opener Mona Meshram (78*) and her captain Mithali Raj (73*) helped India Women canter to a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh Women at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo. After their bowlers, led by seamer Mansi Joshi's 3 for 25, limited Bangladesh to 155 for 8, India aced the chase with nearly 100 balls to spare. The win assured India of a spot in the Women's World Cup.

Having opted to bowl, India made light work of the Bangladesh top order thanks to Joshi. Sharmin Akhter (35) and Fargana Hoque (50) then mounted some resistance by adding 62 runs in 140 balls, but the rest of the batting line-up fell away.

Deepti Sharma exited early in the chase, but Raj, who made her 43rd ODI half-century, and Meshram, who hit her second ODI half-century, powered India home.

Meshram, who the bagged the Player-of-the-match award, said: "Mithali's experience helps when you bat with her. The pressure is released when she plays her shots."

Fifties from opener Nahida Khan and Javeria Khan led Pakistan Women to 271, a total they defended by 86 runs against Ireland Women at the Colombo cricket ground.

Having opted to bat, Pakistan lost Ayesha Zafar early, but Nahida and Javeria took the score to 155 before Javeria retired hurt on 65. She returned to add 25 more to her tally, while Nahida was dismissed for 72. Late cameos from Nain Abidi and captain Sana Mir then pushed the total past 270.

In reply, Ireland were bowled out for 185 in 48.5 overs. Their major source of resistance came from a 74-run stand for the second wicket between Cecelia Joyce and Kim Garth. Apart from them, only Isobel Joyce passed 15. Nashra Sandhu, Sana Mir, and Sadia Yousuf picked up two wickets each for Pakistan.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • InsideHedge on February 18, 2017, 21:38 GMT

    @arun_bhatt: Agreed, and the print media is the worst - some picture of a gymnast on the back page just because the picture looks good. No other reason. Meanwhile, the relevant sports are stuck on some inside pages with no structure.

    The TV coverage too is simply random, no studio presentation to set up the game that follows. And a mind boggling number of ads that the Indian public seems to have no issues with. How does anyone watch cricket on Indian TV with ads at the end of every over (often the 1st ball of the next over is missed)?

    And then you have the wannabe fans, showing up in bars in Bandra et al. They think they're hip but know squat about football for example. Outside of the current 4 top EPL teams, they would be hard pressed to name one. There was a time when these "fans" were into Formula 1 racing, anything to come across as cool.

  • InsideHedge on February 18, 2017, 21:18 GMT

    @hypocaust: Thanks for these great stats. Mithali's achievements are stunning, she's one of my favourites along with Elysse Perry - Perry shows up in your stats multiple times, you can see why she's a great player. I like Suzi Bates too, another top player. Will have to keep a lookout for Luus.

  • cricfan10202131 on February 18, 2017, 10:03 GMT

    Well done Mithali and all team members. I hope you all continue with same performance in ICCWWC. Best Luck ....... keep it up

  • hypocaust on February 18, 2017, 6:47 GMT

    Mithali Raj's last ten ODI scores have been 58, 89, 49, 53*, 46*, 45, 15, 70*, 64, 73*. This is the 30th time she has gone unbeaten in a run chase. Her average in ODI chases (64.61) is only beaten by players who have batted 2nd ten times or less.

    In successful chases Raj averages 106.40 which is a record for women who've been involved in 10+ wins batting 2nd (Ellyse Perry is next with 97.80).

    Suné Luus continues to impress. This is the 3rd time in her 43 match ODI career she's scored a half-century and taken 3+ wickets in the same ODI. The only players to have done this more than Luus are Perry (81 ODIs) & Stafanie Taylor (98), who've each achieved it 4 times.

    Since the 2013 World Cup Luus is the highest wicket taker with 62 wickets at an average of 18.17.

    Javeria Khan's 90 was her 11th 50+ score since the 2013 World Cup. Perry, Meg Lanning and Suzie Bates are the only women to have made more during that period.

  • arun_bhatt on February 18, 2017, 4:28 GMT

    The mainstream media coverage of our Indian Women's cricket team is very disappointing. European soccer, Wenger's fate, Tennis from Qatar Open, IT notice to sportsperson etc. have got a huge and dis-proportionate coverage today. I find this totally unacceptable. And very soon the same newspapers will talk about promoting women's cricket in their hypocritical columns. Well done Mithali and team. Hope you keep the unbeaten record.

  • godshand on February 18, 2017, 4:23 GMT

    Glad to see women doing well - hopefully, the interest and money invested in women cricket WC would get closer to that in the men's :)

  • BoxO'Chocolates on February 18, 2017, 3:44 GMT

    I have always rated Mithali higher than all the Indian men's cricketers until Virat showed up. Mithali has produced runs at very crucial times for India-Women, despite the huge burden she carries. She is my hero.

    I wish the women's matches were covered more in depth than they do now. Granted, the viewership is not quite there, but without coverage, it is difficult to develop/spread the game.

    I am a cricket fan, and have followed both the men's and women's teams. It appeared to me that relative to the resources available to the women, they were doing very well and putting up a fight even in situations where they were not expected to. I am delighted with the rise of Harmanpreet Kaur, and more recently Mandhana, Shika Pandey, Ekta Bisht. Mansi Joshi seems promising based on results; I have not seen her bowl. Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Tirush Kamini are promising too. Sushma Verma seems to be a good wicket-keeper, but I wish she could bat better.

  • InsideHedge on February 17, 2017, 16:12 GMT

    @CricketMaan : Agree 100% about Mithali. 43rd half century says it all, she will have set a high benchmark for the future stars to follow but that's what we want, high standards.

  • CricketMaan on February 17, 2017, 15:17 GMT

    I hope ICC at some stage recognize what a legend Mithali is. She deserves to ve in that hall of fame having scored a 200 in England and leading India to a Test win. Mithali, Jhulan will leave Indian women team in safe hands of Kaur, Veda and Smruthi. India still are not in the same leauge as Aus, Eng and still behind Windies in the short format. They wont be favs to win the WC but id like to see them in finals. Its also heart ing to see SL, Pak, Bangla and SA progress.

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