Jhulan, Smriti help India crush South Africa in 2nd ODI, level series
A resurgent India fought back in style to outplay South Africa, registering a nine-wicket victory in the second game and level the five-match women’s ODI series 1-1 at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium here on Tuesday.
Indian opener Smriti Mandhana produced a power-packed batting display as the left-handed batter scored her 18th ODI half-century (64b, 10x4, 3x6) and the seasoned Punam Raut hit 62 (89b, 8x4) for her 13th half-century, their unbeaten 138-run partnership carrying the hosts to victory in 28.4 overs.
Having lost the opening match by eight wickets on Sunday, the Mithali Raj-led team dominated the visitors in all departments to notch up their biggest ODI win against South Africa in terms of wickets.
Jhulan Goswami, 38, displayed her guile after Mithali Raj elected to bat. The tall pacer exploited life on the black soil turf to take 4/42, helping to dismiss the Proteas for 157 in 41 overs. India reached 160/1 in replay.
Goswami, who was named player-of-the-match, and seamer Mansi Joshi, removed the openers cheaply and then made inroads in the middle-overs.
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bagged 3/37 while Harmanpreet Kaur bowled top-scorer Laura Goodall bowling her only over of part-time off-breaks.
The roles were reversed from Sunday when India, playing their first international match after a year, looked rusty. The hosts had regrouped on Tuesday to make it a one-sided affair.
Opener Jemimah Rodrigues missed out again, bowled for nine runs by pacer Shabnim Ismail. The left-right combination of Mandhana and Raut then made light of South Africa bowling. Mandhana was aggressive from the word go while it took Raut 31 balls before she hit her first boundary, hitting Nonkululeko Mlaba over mid-wicket. Runs poured after that.
Mandhana finished the game in style, hitting consecutive boundaries off Nadine de Klerk. She hit Shabnim Ismail for two sixes in her first over in the mid-wicket and square leg region while her third six was lofted over long-off against Mlaba later in the innings. Their partnership was the best by India against the Proteas.
“We are back in the rhythm,” Mithali Raj said after the match. “We were determined for a strong reply and winning after one year is quite satisfying. Everyone played their part nicely. Jhulan and Mansi gave early breakthroughs before Gayakwad showing her class, whereas Mandhana and Raut batted nicely.”
Goswami justified the decision to bowl first, trapping dashing opener Lizelle Lee (4) off the last ball of the first over, before Joshi forced fellow opener Laura Wolvaardt (9) to edge a regulation catch to wicket-keeper Sushma Verma in the sixth over.
Skipper Sune Luus (36- 57b, 5x4) and Lara Goodall (49-77b, 2x4) steadied the innings then in a 60-run third wicket partnership, but India regained control of the innings with some smart bowling. Luus was caught behind, falling to Joshi’s swinging delivery, before Goodall’s dismissal.
“I was focused on my length from the first ball and I am happy I could do justice to my bowling even though I’m playing international cricket after almost one year,” Goswami said after collecting the player-of-the-match purse of R1 lakh.
The third ODI will be played on Friday.
India 160/1 in 28.4 overs (S Mandhana 80*, P Raut 62*) beat South Africa 157 all out in 41 overs (S Luus 36, L Goodall 49, J Goswami 4/42, R Gayakwad 3/37, M Joshi 2/23) by nine wickets.This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.