Majestic Wolvaardt, Lee stand sees Proteas down India in 1st ODI

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Proteas women batter Laura Wolvaardt
Proteas women batter Laura Wolvaardt
Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

The Proteas women cruised to an eight-wicket victory in the opening ODI against India at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.

A record partnership between Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt helped the Proteas make a storming start to their five-match One-Day International series against India.

The pair amassed 169 for the first wicket as South Africa chased down a 178-run target with eight wickets intact - securing their biggest win over the hosts in the process.

Lee finished with an unbeaten 83 off 122 balls (11 fours, 1 six), while Wolvaardt, who went past 2 000 ODI runs during the early part of her innings, was dismissed with nine runs to win for a splendid 80 off 110 balls (12 fours).

It mattered little, though, as Hilton Moreeng's charges eventually won with 59 deliveries to spare.

The stand for the first wicket was the highest by the tourists for any wicket against India and also beat the previous best of 163 of a top-tier nation that was scored by the same two players against New Zealand at Auckland last January.

The Proteas bowlers were on song, led by Shabnim Ismail, who took three for 28, which included three maidens, leading the charge in helping them restrict their opponents to just 177 for nine.

The Proteas, also outstanding in the field, won the toss at the start of the match and opted to bowl first, with their star fast bowler and Marizanne Kapp (1/25) exceptional with the new ball.

Together with Ayabonga Khaka (1/29), they left the Indians on 40 for three by the 14th over, before captain Mithali Raj (50 off 85 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and Harmanpreet Kaur (40) helped rebuild.

Sune Luus (1/23) eventually broke the stand just after the 100 was raised, before Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/41) joined the act with tidy bowling during the middle overs.

That meant India could manage to set just 178. 

Lee and Wolvaardt then made light work of the chase as they recorded 19th and 18th ODI half centuries respectively for their country in 50-over cricket.

The partnership was eventually ended by Jhulan Goswami (2/38), but Lee was on hand to finished the job ant take the visitors to a 1-0 lead.

The second ODI gets underway on Tuesday at 05:30 (SA time). 

Scores in brief:

India - 177/9 (Mithali Raj 50, Harmanpreet Kaur 40, Shabnim Ismail 3/28, Nonkululeko Mlaba 2/41)

South Africa - 178/2 in 40.1 overs (Lizelle Lee 83*, Laura Wolvaardt 80, Jhulan Goswami 2/31)

Result: Proteas win by 8 wickets

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