NEW DELHI: India posted the highest ever total in women’s Test cricket, declaring at 603 for six against South Africa on day two of the one-off Test in Chennai on Saturday.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh extended India’s dominance with a significant partnership, while South Africa’s Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp put up a strong fight to end the day at 236 for four.
Resuming at an overnight score of 525 for four, India started the day with Harmanpreet and Richa driving the momentum.
Harmanpreet, playing her fifth Test, achieved her maiden half-century in the format, scoring 69 off 115 balls. Richa made her career-best knock of 86.
Both added 143 runs for the fifth wicket, dominating the South African attack.
At 576, India surpassed Australia’s previous highest team total in Women’s Test cricket of 575 for nine declared against South Africa in Perth this February.
Harmanpreet’s innings ended at 593, trapped leg-before by Tumi Sekhukhune, and just ten runs later, Richa also fell leg-before to Nonkululeko Mlaba, prompting India to declare their innings.
South Africa began their innings strongly with Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp leading the way. Luus scored 65, while Kapp remained unbeaten at 69 by the end of the day. South Africa closed at 236 for four, trailing by 367 runs.
Delmi Tucker was the most successful South African bowler with figures of two for 141, and Masabata Klaas was the most economical.
The Proteas started positively and went to lunch safely at 29 for no loss. After the break, India struck with Sneh Rana trapping the visiting captain leg-before for 20. The partnership ended at 33 runs. Luus joined Bosch and added 63 for the second wicket before Rana removed Bosch for 39.
By the tea break, South Africa was at 106 for two, with Kapp joining Luus. In the final session, both batters reached their respective half-centuries.
Their partnership was fruitful at 93 runs for the third wicket until Deepti Sharma trapped Luus leg-before, bringing the score to 189 for three. This stand was the best third-wicket partnership for South Africa in the format.
Nine runs later, Delmi Tucker was caught behind off Rana for a duck. Kapp and Nadine de Klerk then navigated the remainder of the day with an unbeaten 38-run stand for the fifth wicket.
The ball’s occasional low bounce presented challenges, but the Indians maintained steady fielding efforts. They missed a couple of close chances but did not struggle significantly with the ball.
Sneh Rana was the standout bowler for India, finishing with figures of three for 61, while Deepti Sharma also made a notable impact, taking one wicket for 40 runs. India’s strong batting performance and South Africa’s resilient response have set up an intriguing contest for the remaining days of the Test.