Colombo: Hamanpreet Kaur hit a six and ran briskly for two runs during the last two balls to steal a tense one-wicket win for India over South Africa in the final of the Women's Cricket World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.
Kaur scored a run-a-ball 41 in India's 245-9 in 50 overs in reply to South Africa's 244 all out in its final over.
India was the pre-tournament favourite, followed by South Africa, in the 10-team qualifying event. They and Sri Lanka and Pakistan will join England, Australia, New Zealand, and the West Indies in the Women's World Cup in June in England.
Deepti Sharma top-scored for India with 71 off 89 balls including eight boundaries. Her 124-run stand for the second wicket with opener Mona Meshram (59) set up the successful run chase.
Meshram hit seven boundaries and a six.
India appeared to lose its way later, dropping to 223-8 in the 46th over and 237-9 to start the last over, but Kaur held her nerve to see her team through to victory.
Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka took two wickets each for South Africa, whose top eight batswomen hit double figures.
Mignon de Preez top-scored for South Africa with 40.
For India, Rajeshwari Gayakwad took three wickets and Shika Pandey two.
South Africa Women - 244 (du Preez 40, Gayakwad 3-51)
India Women - 245 for 9 (Deepti Sharma 71, Meshram 59, Kaur 41*, Kapp 2-36)
Result - India Women won by 1 wicket