3rd ODI: Mithali’s feat an added incentive for India

Lucknow, March 11 (IANS) After drawing level with a win in the second match, India women will take South Africa women in the third ODI here at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Friday.
India had lost the first ODI by eight wickets after the South Africans restricted them to just 177/9 in 50 overs. The India women, however, came back in the next match on March 9, hammering the visitors by nine wickets after restricting them to 157. Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut put on an unbeaten 138-run partnership to help India women beat South Africa women. Mandhana made an unbeaten 80.
“We have come off a one-year break, so as for now we’re just going out there to go and play some good cricket. After a long break, it takes time to get things correct,” Mandhana told the media ahead of the third ODI.
The left-handed batter said that she was confident she will come good against SA since she has been playing against them for the last 5-6 years.
“For me as a batter, I just like to react to the ball and not think about how they bowl. I’ve been facing them for five-six years. So I know their strengths and what they are going to target. For me, it’s just about watching the ball and playing according to the ball. That’s my only strategy against them.”
Friday’s ODI will also be significant for the seasoned Mithali Raj, who will become only the second player to get to 10,000 runs in women’s international cricket.
“We are all aware that she’s going to reach 10,000 runs. It’s amazing. Whenever she gets to 10,000 runs, we as a team will be very proud of her. That will be a terrific moment for Indian team. It shows how consistent she has been in her career. We all look up to her.”

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