Opener Anjum Chopra and left-arm spinner Sravanthi Krishnamurthy bowled India to a narrow 23-run victory over South Africa in an ICC Women's World Cup 2009 warm-up match at Raby 1, Sydney, on Tuesday.
Chopra, who will appear in her fourth World Cup, stroked a fine 53 to help India to a modest 167 all out in 45.3 overs but Krishnamurthy returned magical figures of 10-2-28-5 to bowl South Africa out for 144 with 16 balls to spare.
Chopra, who hit four fours in a 107-ball knock, added 73 runs for the second wicket with former captain Mithali Raj, who contributed 29.
With MD Thirushkamini, Chopra put on 33 runs for the third wicket but once the stand was broken with the score on108, the rest of the Indian batting collapsed like a deck of cards as it was dismissed for 167 runs with over four overs to spare.
For South Africa, 20-year-old fast bowler Shabnim Ismail stole the bowling honours when she took 4-35 while 15-year-old leg-spinner Dane van Niekrek bagged 2-32.
South Africa, in its target chase, started confidently when it reached 57 without loss in 17 overs. But after Priyanka Roy broke the first wicket stand between Trisha Chetty (35) and Yolandi van der Westhuizen (28) by dismissing the former, South Africa's innings fell apart as it failed to counter the crafty spin bowling of the 22-year-old Krishnamurthy.
Krishnamurthy ran through the opponent's middle-order and only Mignon du Preez's breezy 42, with four fours, helped South Africa narrow the margin of defeat to 23 runs.
India captain Jhulan Goswami was happy with her team making a winning start to the tour. "It was a close match and an important win and I'm happy that we've started well. We played pretty good cricket.
"I'm very happy with how Anjum batted today. She has a senior role and took responsibility and the same with a lot of our young spinners. They showed leadership and used the wicket superbly, so I'm happy with how they bowled today."
Elsewhere, former champion New Zealand gave Pakistan a cricket lesson when it defeated the eighth-ranked team by a convincing margin of 126 runs.
Batting first, New Zealand rattled 303-9 with opener Suzie Bates top scoring with a swashbuckling 80 that came off just 68 balls and included 10 fours. Sara McGlashan also took advantage of some friendly bowling from the Pakistani girls to hit six fours and a six in a 54-ball 63.
In turn, Pakistan opted for batting practice and finished at 177-8 with Bishmah Maroof scoring 39 and Naila Nazir following up her 2-61 with a watchful 38.
At Old Kings, New South Wales defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets. Sri Lanka, batting first, scored 114 in 38.4 overs, which the home side achieved with more than 13 overs and nine wickets to spare.
All the eight participating teams in the tournament will be in action on Wednesday, which is the last day of the warm-up matches, before the main round begins on Saturday 7 March. On the opening day of the tournament, Pakistan will take on India at Bowral and England will meet Sri Lanka at Canberra.
Scores in brief:
At Raby 1: India 167 in 45.3 overs (Anjum Chopra 53, Mithali Raj 29; Shabnim Ismail 4-35, Dane van Niekerk 2-32)
South Africa 144 in 47.2 overs (Mignon du Preez 42, Trisha Chetty 35, Yolandi van der Westhuizen 28; Sravanthi Krishnamurthy 5-28, Priyanka Roy 3-35)
India won by 23 runs
At Manly: New Zealand 303-9 in 50 overs (Suzie Bates 80, Sara McGlashan 63, Haidee Tiffen 33, Nicola Browne 29, Aimee Mason 25, Sophie Devine 23 not out; Naila Nazir 2-61)
Pakistan 177-8 in 50 overs (Bismah Maroof 39, Naila Nazir 38, Sana Mir 34; Sarah Tsukigawa 3-23)
New Zealand won by 126 runs
At Old Kings: Sri Lanka 114 in 38.4 overs (Suwini de Alwis30; Sarah Aley 4-26)
NSW 115-1 in 36.2 overs (S.Hinton 41 not out, S.Coyte 35, K.Blackwell 31 not out)
NSW won by nine wickets
Warm-up fixtures for Wednesday, March 4:
Australia v Sri Lanka, Manly
India v New Zealand, Old Kings
England v West Indies, Raby 1
South Africa v Pakistan, Village Green