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Indian Women’s Team Crushes South Africa in Historic Test Match at Chennai

The Indian women’s cricket team showcased an extraordinary display of dominance as they defeated a spirited South African side by ten wickets in the historic one-off Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The emphatic victory was completed on Day 4 when the Women in Blue chased down a modest second-innings target of 37 with remarkable ease.

India was in command throughout the match, as they first managed to get the Proteas all out for 373 in their second innings after enforcing a follow-on. Openers Shafali Verma and Shubha Satheesh then sealed the win in just 9.2 overs during the closing hour of the Test. Shafali, who had already made headlines with a record-breaking double century in the first innings, remained unbeaten on 24, while Satheesh contributed 13 not out.

This clash of cricketing titans was filled with numerous record-breaking performances and significant milestones. The tone of India’s assault was set early in the first innings when Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana stitched together an astonishing 292-run partnership, the highest ever opening stand in Women’s Test cricket globally. Shafali’s breathtaking double ton, her second in this format, came in merely 194 balls, enabling her to surpass Annabel Sutherland’s record of 248 deliveries.

In addition to her double century, Shafali also set a new benchmark as the fastest century-maker, smashing her ton in only 113 balls. This achievement broke Janette Brittin’s long-standing record from 1984 that required 137 deliveries. Smriti Mandhana, too, maintained her rich vein of form by notching up her fourth international century in just five matches, scoring an impressive 149 before narrowly missing out on a double ton.

India’s formidable batting display led them to an imposing first-innings total of 603/6 declared, the highest score in the history of women’s Test cricket. When South Africa took to the crease, their efforts with the bat fell short as they were bowled out for 266, with Marizanne Kapp’s gritty 74 representing their only significant resistance.

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However, the Proteas showed more resilience in their second innings after being asked to follow on. Captain Laura Wolvaardt and Sune Luus led the charge with fighting centuries, guiding South Africa to a more respectable 373 and setting India a modest target of 37 to win. Despite their efforts, the Indian bowlers were relentless, with Sneh Rana taking eight wickets in the first innings. Rana’s outstanding performance continued as she claimed two more wickets in the second innings, joining an elite club of players to achieve ten-wicket hauls in a match.

With the stage set, the Indian openers took little time to chase down the target, wrapping up the game and etching another series of records in the annals of Test cricket history. Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian captain, lauded her team’s comprehensive performance and emphasized the significance of this victory for Indian women’s cricket.

“The team has worked incredibly hard, and today’s win is a testament to our dedication and skill. Breaking records feels splendid, but the unity and effort displayed by every player on the field are what truly matter,” Kaur stated post-match.

The South African captain, Laura Wolvaardt, also praised her team’s fighting spirit despite the loss. “We played well in patches, but India was the better side throughout the match. There’s much to learn from this experience, and we set our sights on improving and coming back stronger,” Wolvaardt remarked.

The Chennai Test will be remembered not only for the records shattered but also for the spirit and sportsmanship displayed on both sides. As the Indian women’s cricket team savors this historic triumph, the cricketing world looks forward to witnessing more such exhilarating contests in the future.