India posts record-breaking 603/6, SA fight back

India posts record-breaking 603/6, SA fight back

Chennai: India posted the biggest ever total in the history of women’s Test cricket by scoring a mammoth 603 for six declared before South Africa Women fought valiantly through Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp on day two of the one-off Test, here Saturday.

The hosts resumed the day at the overnight score of 525 for four with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh beginning the proceedings. Playing her fifth Test, the India skipper raised her maiden half-century in the long format, scoring 69 of 115 balls while Richa (86) also got her career-best knock of 86 to extend India’s domination. They added 143 runs for the fifth wicket. At 576, the Indians broke the record of the highest team total in the Women’s Test cricket, bettering the previous record held by Australia, who had posted 575 for nine declared against South Africa in Perth this February.

However, at 593, the stand was broken after Harmanpreet was trapped leg-before by Tumi Sekhukhune. Just 10 runs later, Richa departed too after being trapped leg-before by Nonkululeko Mlaba, and the Indian captain declared the innings.

South Africa put up a spirited fight with top-order batter Sune Luus (65) and Marizanne (69 not out) as they finished the day at 236 for four, trailing by 367 runs. Delmi Tucker remained the most successful South African bowler with figures of two for 141, while Masabata Klaas was the most economical of all. The Proteas began on a convincing note with the bat and remained safe at 29 for no loss at the lunch break. However, the hosts struck after the break, with Sneh Rana trapping the visiting captain leg-before for 20 with a delivery that surprisingly kept low, with the partnership lasting 33 runs. In came Luss to join Bosch, and the pair made the most of the batting friendly wicket. The duo added 63 for the second wicket, but Rana broke the stand by removing Bosch for 39. As Kapp joined Luus, South Africa was 106 for two at the tea break. In the day’s final session, the two batters brought up their respective half-centuries and took the partnership to 93 runs before Luus was trapped leg-before by Deepti Sharma, with the score reading 189 for three. The stand was Proteas’ best third-wicket partnership in the format.

Nine runs later, Delmi Tucker was caught behind off Rana for a duck. But, the pair of Kapp and Nadine de Klerk played out the remainder of the day with an unbeaten 38-run stand for the fifth wicket. The hosts did not exactly struggle with the ball. While the lack of enough turns did make it challenging out there, the ball occasionally kept low, troubling the visitors.

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