Indian vice-captain and star batter Smriti Mandhana made history on Sunday during the third ODI against South Africa at Bengaluru, by becoming the woman player with the most runs in a three-match bilateral ODI series. Mandhana scored an impressive 90 runs off 83 balls, hitting 11 fours and maintaining a strike rate of 108.43. Her stellar performance throughout the series was a significant factor in India’s dominance.

In the first ODI, Mandhana scored 117 runs in 127 balls, which included 12 fours and a six. She followed this up with an outstanding 136 runs in 120 balls in the second ODI, striking 18 fours and two sixes. Her consistency and powerful batting led to a cumulative total of 343 runs in the series, with an exceptional average of 114.33 and a strike rate above 103. Mandhana’s contributions included two centuries and a fifty, earning her the ‘Player of the Series’ award as India whitewashed South Africa 3-0.

Despite Mandhana’s remarkable performance, the record for the most runs in a bilateral ODI series by a women’s player remains with former Australian cricketer Karen Rolton, who scored 394 runs in six ODIs against New Zealand in 2004. Rolton’s series included a century and three fifties, with a best score of 102* and an astounding average of 197.00.

In the third ODI, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. Their openers, Laura Woolvardt and Tazmin Brits, built a solid foundation with a 102-run stand. However, the Indian bowlers, led by Deepti Sharma and Arundhati Reddy, staged a strong comeback, restricting South Africa to 215 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their 50 overs. Shreyanka Patil and Pooja Vastrakar also chipped in with a wicket each.

Chasing 216, India’s innings was anchored by Mandhana, while Shafali Varma, Priya Punia, and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur played crucial supporting roles. This set the stage for Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh to guide India to victory with six wickets in hand and 56 balls to spare. Deepti Sharma’s all-round performance earned her the ‘Player of the Match’ accolade, capping off a dominant series for the Indian team.


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