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Indian women eye cleansweep of South Africa

Potchefstroom, Feb 9: With the three-match ODI series already in their kitty, the Indian women’s cricket team will aim for a 3-0 whitewash of the South African eves when they face off in the third and final one-dayer, which is part of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship here on Saturday.
In the first two matches, opener Smriti Mandhana single-handedly batted the South Africans out of the contests. Smriti, who struck 84 and a career-best 135 at Kimberley, would love to make it three in a row at Senwes Park.
However, her opening partner Poonam Raut has had a quiet series so far and would like to make amends.
At No.3 skipper Mithali Raj has got the starts but failed to convert them into big scores while the dangerous Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy were back among the runs in the second match, scoring unbeaten half centuries to push India to 302/3.
In the bowling department, India have troubled the hosts with both pace and spin, whether it was Jhulan Goswami in the series-opener or leggie Poonam Yadav in the second tie.
The other bowlers too have chipped in with valuable contributions.
Goswami, who became the first female cricketer to take 200 wickets in ODIs on Wednesday, would like to end the series on a high.
On the other hand, the hosts’ would hope for a turn-around in fortunes as far as their batting department is concerned. They folded up for 125 and 124 while chasing in the first two games.
Besides, a solid 73 from opener Lizelle Lee, none of the batswomen have been able to make an impact.
They would also be hoping for the bowlers to set things right and apply the brakes on the swashbuckling Indian middle order. IANS