Harmanpreet Kaur struck form with a timely hundred as India eked out a narrow two-run win over South Africa in a warm-up match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here on Sunday. The India vice-captain, who had regained some form with her first 50 in 12 months during the final ODI against New Zealand, slammed a 119-ball 114 with the help of 11 boundaries.
The innings will calm the nerves of the team management as she remains a key player for India’s campaign. Opening the innings, Yastika Bhatia gained rhythm ahead of the tournament proper with a 78-ball 58 but the team didn’t get the impetus in the final overs to end at 244 for nine after being invited to bat first.
Defending the total, Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4/46) returned with a four-wicket haul to stop South Africa at 242 for seven, despite some good work from opener Laura Wolvaardt (75), Sune Luus (94) and Marizanne Kapp (31). Ayabonga Khaka (3/23) was the most successful bowler for South Africa. In their campaign opener on March 6, India will face arch-rivals Pakistan who recorded a four-wicket win over New Zealand in another practice game in Lincoln.