South Africa women won the third one-day international against India at Centurion by three wickets, and in so doing won the first-ever Women's Series in South Africa. A rain-interrupted match was in the balance until the penultimate ball when the winning runs were scored.
After a rain-delayed 20 minute start, South Africa won the toss, and on a greenish pitch Cindy Eksteen decided to send the visitors in to bat - a decision that paid off early when both openers were back in the pavilion within four overs.
Some quality front-foot play from Mithali Raj (39) and a solid undefeated innings from captain Anjum Chopra (41*) recovered the innings with an 83-run partnership. Rain after 12.5, 20 and 23.3 overs did not help the Indian cause. Breaks in concentration were evident as timing left both players during the three breaks in play.
The South African bowlers did well to restrict the Indians to 111/3 in the reduced 30-over match. Far too many wides were bowled and in the end nearly caused the downfall of the South African team.
Set to score 137 in 30 overs (D/L Method) the South Africans set about the bowling, staying ahead of the calculator until the last over when there were eight runs required. Some good running between Yulandi Van der Merwe and Cri-Zelda Brits saw the team home with one ball to spare.
Mention must be made of the batting of Eksteen (36) and the bowling of the young left-arm orthodox spinner Neetu David. The latter always kept the pressure on the batsman, taking 2/17, and with the batsmen looking to score off her must take credit for the run out of Kerri Laign.
The last internation before the one off test takes place in Cape Town on Saturday.