Sune, Marizanne lead South Africa fightback after India's record total

When you know you have a mountain to climb, the best way to start is to have a positive attitude and that's how South Africa began.
Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp with their half-centuries showed lot of grit and determination to take on the pressure.
Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp with their half-centuries showed lot of grit and determination to take on the pressure.Photo | P. Ravikumar, EPS

CHENNAI: Half-centuries by Harmanpreet Kaur (69) and Richa Ghosh (86) came in handy for India eves to declare at a mammoth 603/6 in 115.1 overs against South Africa on the second day of the one-off Test played at the MA Chidambaram stadium here on Saturday.

In the process, India recorded the highest team total in women's Test cricket. Australia held the previous record for the highest total of 575 for nine declared, which they made against South Africa at Perth this February. In reply, South Africa were 236/4 in 72 overs at stumps.

The Indian camp were waiting for Kaur and Ghosh to get to their centuries in the first innings. Kaur looked solid and was elegant to watch. Her exquisite cover drives and pull shots were straight from the book. When well set for a big innings, she was trapped in front by Tumi Sekhukhune.

After that, Ghosh played briskly with the declaration in mind and in one such moment, lost concentration to be leg before to Nonkululeko Mlaba. After her dismissal, India declared immediately.

Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp with their half-centuries showed lot of grit and determination to take on the pressure.
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When you know you have a mountain to climb, the best way to start is to have a positive attitude and that's how South Africa began.

Laura Wolvaardtand Anneke Bosch continued to look for runs from the word go. They took sharp singles and chose the right ball to attack to the fence. But when you chase 600 odd runs you need to have the patience and temperament to play session by session without looking at the scoreboard. This is where Laura got trapped by a ball that kept low off Sneh Rana. A while later, Bosch too perished to the guile of Rana.

However, the South Africa middle order put up good fight to get past the 200-run mark. On a deck where Indian bowlers were able to extract good turn and bounce from the second session of the day, Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp with their half-centuries showed lot of grit and determination to take on the pressure. Their 93-run stand for the third wicket was the best phase for the visitors on Saturday.

After Luus was dismissed by Deepti Sharma, Kapp and Nadine de Klerk continued the fight. Kapp had been striking the ball with confidence and with de Klerk also showing good intent, the visitors will pin their hopes on the duo to register a big stand on Sunday.

''Saturday was probably one of the hardest sessions we had, batting wise. The conditions are something you cannot train for back home. It was a great challenge. The partnership up front, worked nicely until lunch and then me and Kappie, followed by her and de Klerk at the end,'' said Luus after the day's play.

''The bounce is uneven and the pitch is tough but it was a pretty good day for us. It was very simple (the plan). To cover the stumps when it was straight and defending solidly, and then capitalising on the freebies. Even in Test cricket, if it is in your area, you have to go after it and we did that today,'' added Luus.

Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp with their half-centuries showed lot of grit and determination to take on the pressure.
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