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India women look to play for pride in final ODI vs SA

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Lucknow, March 16 (IANS) India women will face South Africa in the inconsequential fifth and final ODI here at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

With the Proteas women sealing the series after winning the fourth ODI on Sunday and taking an unassailable 3-1 lead, the final game will be played by India for pride.

The Proteas batters have managed to chase challenging targets in the last two matches and have made the Indian bowling attack look pretty ordinary.

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Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav pointed out India’s weakness in spin bowling.

“We beat South Africa in South Africa and also when they came here, we beat them here. But our spin attack hasn’t been that successful now. In practice sessions we talk about how to improve our bowling especially on wickets that don’t assist us,” Yadav said while speaking to the media ahead of the fifth ODI.

Yadav added that the Indian team is trying to sort out issues during practice sessions.

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“We need to bowl in partnerships. We need to control runs from one end, then only we get wickets from the other end. You need to contain to get wickets. These wickets help batting so we need to contain,” added Yadav.

South Africa have banked on Lizelle Lee’s batting. Opener Lee has scored 288 runs in four matches with one century and two half-centuries. She has hit 38 boundaries. Laura Woolvardt has also hit two half-centuries in four games.

While seasoned pace bowler Jhulan Goswami has been brilliant, taking eight wickets in three matches and conceding runs at just 3.44 an over, the South Africa women have ensured runs against the other Indian bowlers.

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Pace bowler Shabnim Ismail has been the pick of the visiting bowlers. However, the rest of the South Africans haven’t been able to do much.

Yadav is hopeful the team will be able to put up a better performance in the T20 Internationals.

“In T20Is, we will try to do better. Maybe we weren’t able to implement our plans in ODIs. But we are working on it and will improve in the matches ahead,” she said.

–IANS

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