India women vs South Africa women - 2nd ODI: Jhulan, Smriti steer India to series-levelling win

Jhulan Goswami and Smriti Mandhana came up with fine performances as India women beat South Africa women by nine wickets in the second ODI to level the series.

Jhulan Goswami starred with the ball with a four-wicket haul against South Africa women.   -  BCCI

Smriti Mandhana posted an emphatic statement on behalf of the host as India raced to a nine-wicket victory over South Africa with more than 22 overs to spare in the second One Day International at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium here on Tuesday.

The ever smiling and relaxed Smriti set the tempo for the Indian response. She pulled and hooked two sixes off Shabnim Ismail in the first over, after South Africa had set a modest target of 158.

Yet, the beauty of the Indian display of authority lay more in the restraint than the free flowing strokes, as Smriti and opener Punam Raut put on 138 runs for the second wicket, being very judicious with their shot selection.

READ| India Women vs South Africa Women 2nd ODI Highlights

Smriti hit 80 off 64 balls, and had a third off-driven six off Nonkululek Mlaba. It was the 18th half century for Smriti in her 53 ODI. Punam was equal to the task and scored 62 off 89 balls timing her shots to a nicety, in scripting her 14th half century.

Earlier, Mansi Joshi returned to the team to bowl a key spell when the South African openers who had put on 169 in the first match were sent back to the pavilion with 20 runs on the board. Jhulan Goswami, who took one of the openers, bagged four wickets.

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad played a key role in taking three wickets, while Harmanpreet Kaur served a mighty blow to the aspirations of the visitor by knocking the stumps of left-hander Lara Goodall on 49.

Skipper Sune Luus hung around for 36, but South Africa was unable to post a challenging total.

Skipper Mithali Raj was happy with the team’s efficiency of execution, after she had won the toss and opted to field. She gave credit to the bowlers for the fine performance and commended the team for the overall involvement in ensuring such a strong response to the eight-wicket loss in the first match.

Goswami was adjudged the ‘Player of the match’, while Smriti and Deepti Sharma won special awards for their power play and stunning catch respectively.

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