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Punam ton in vain as clinical SA clinch series (Ld)

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Lucknow, March 14 (IANS) Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee led a clinical batting effort from South Africa women as they beat India by seven wickets in the fourth ODI here. Punam Raut earlier scored an unbeaten century but it went in vain as the visitors chased down India’s 266/4 with eight balls in hand.

South Africa have thus taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Lee (69), captain Laura Wolvaardt (53), Lara Goodall (59 not out) and Mignon du Preez (61) all scored half centuries while Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Harmanpreet Kaur took a wicket each at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium.

Earlier, Punam hit a century as India women scored 266/4 against South Africa. It was Punam’s third consecutive score above 50 in the series and she ended the innings unbeaten on 104 off 123 balls.

Punam and captain Mithali Raj (45) put up 103 runs for the third wicket after which Harmanpreet smashed 54 off 35 balls to give India a stimulus in the final stages of their innings. The final match of the series will also be played at the Ekana Stadium on Wednesday.

Brief scores: India 266/4 in 50 overs (Punam Raut 104 not out, Harmanpreet Kaur 54, Mithali Raj 45; Tumi Sekhukhune 2/63) lost to South Africa 269/3 in 48.4 overs (Lizelle Lee 69, Mignon du Preez 61, Lara Goodall 59 not out; Rajeswari Gayakwad 1/39) by seven wickets with eight balls remaining

–IANS

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