Lucknow: Veteran Jhulan Goswami’s (4/42) brilliant bowling was beautifully complemented by Smriti Mandhana’s sparkling unbeaten 80 (64b, 10×4, 3×6) as Indian women outplayed South Africa by nine wickets in the second ODI. With the win, the Indian women levelled the five-match series 1-1 here Tuesday. Jhulan Goswami was ably supported by fellow seamer Mansi Joshi (2/23) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/37). The three combined well as India dismissed South Africa for a paltry 157 in 41 overs after opting to field.
Opener Mandhana and Punam Raut (62 n o, 89b, 8×4) then shared an unbeaten 138-run partnership for the second wicket. It helped India overhaul the target in only 28.4 overs to bounce back from their eight-wicket loss in the first ODI.
Mandhana made her intentions clear right from the start. She clubbed the first two balls of her innings for sixes off Shabnim Ismail. Incidentally Ismail was the most successful bowler for the Proteas in the first ODI. So the early loss of Jemimah Rodrigues (8) did not pose a problem.
Raut took some time to get going but Mandhana was in full flow. She picked up boundaries regularly to keep the scoreboard ticking. The short balls were dispatched over the ropes. Those outside the off-stump were sent to the third-man boundary with deft late cuts. Anything fullish was driven through the covers. Raut exploded in the 15th over, blasting two fours off Nonkululeko Mlaba.
In the 20th over, Mandhana picked up successive fours to get to her fifty in style. Raut crossed the 50-mark with an innovative short behind the keeper. Mandhana eventually scored the winning runs with successive fours in the 29th over.
Earlier, Lara Goodall (49, 77b, 2×4) was the most successful batswoman for South Africa. The others did not contribute much.
Electing to field, the Indian pacers were rewarded for bowling a probing line as Goswami and Joshi made early breakthroughs. They dismissed openers Lizelle Lee (4) and Laura Wolvaardt (9) cheaply. Then the spinners took over.
Goswami struck twice in the 38th over, cleaning up Nadine de Klerk (8) and Shabnim Ismail (0) to reduce South Africa to 144 for 8.
Brief scores: South Africa 157 in 41 overs (Lara Goodall 49, Jhulan Goswami 4/42, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 3/37) lost to India 160 for 1 in 28.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 80 n o, Punam Raut 62 n o) by nine wickets.