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Shafali Verma and Sneh Rana Shine as India Women Defeat South Africa Women in One-off Test

Shafali Verma and Sneh Rana Shine as India Women Defeat South Africa Women in One-off Test

Chennai: A stellar performance by Shafali Verma, who scored a double century, and a remarkable ten-wicket match haul by Sneh Rana propelled India Women to a commanding 10-wicket victory over South Africa Women in the one-off Test held at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

India’s first innings declaration at 603 for six set the tone for the match. The visitors, led by Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt, fought back with centuries to delay what seemed an inevitable innings defeat. Luus and Wolvaardt’s centuries helped South Africa stay afloat, and Nadine de Klerk’s gritty fifty ensured India had to bat again.

The final day saw India requiring 37 runs for victory after bowling out South Africa for 373 in their second innings. Shafali Verma (24 not out) and Shubha Sateesh (13 not out) chased down the target in 9.2 overs, sealing India’s win without losing a wicket.

This triumph marks India’s second 10-wicket victory in Tests, the first being against South Africa in Paarl in 2002.

South Africa, after being bowled out for 266 in their first innings, showed resilience in the second innings. Hundred-makers Wolvaardt (122 off 314 balls) and Luus (109 off 203 balls) delayed India’s victory. Despite a promising start, the South Africans couldn’t prevent the inevitable.

Resuming their innings at 232 for two, Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp looked in good form. Wolvaardt’s maiden Test century made her the first woman to score a century in Test, ODI, and T20I in the same year. However, the innings faltered when Deepti Sharma trapped Kapp leg-before for 31, and Sneh Rana dismissed Delmi Tucker for a duck.

Wolvaardt tried to hold the innings together but was eventually out for 122, trapped by Rajeshwari Gayakwad, reducing South Africa to 281 for five. Despite surpassing their previous best Test score against India, South Africa struggled to build strong partnerships.

Post-lunch, Jafta retired hurt due to cramps, and Anne Dercksen joined De Klerk. Dercksen fell for five, and the team trailed by 27 runs. South Africa achieved their highest Test score, surpassing the 315 against England in 2003, but continued to lose wickets.

The final session saw India conceding a lead, marking the third instance of giving away a lead after enforcing a follow-on. The partnership between De Klerk and Masabata Klaas yielded 23 runs before Klaas was cleaned up by Shafali. De Klerk, despite being dropped twice, scored a half-century but was eventually dismissed by Rajeshwari Gayakwad for 61.

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