Jhulan, Smriti steer India to series-levelling win in 2nd ODI

Lucknow, Mar 09 (PTI): Veteran Jhulan Goswami’s four-wicket haul was beautifully complemented by Smriti Mandhana’s sparkling 80 not out as Indian women outplayed South Africa by nine wickets in the second ODI to level the five-match series 1-1 here on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Goswami returned with figures of 10-0-42-4 and she was ably supported by fellow seamer Mansi Joshi (2/23) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/37) as India dismissed South Africa for a paltry 157 after opting to field.
Opener Mandhana (80 not out off 64 balls) and Raut (62 not out, 89 balls) then shared an unbeaten 138-run partnership for the second wicket with India overhauling the target in only 28.4 overs to bounce back from their eight-wicket loss in the first ODI.
Mandhana blasted 10 fours and three sixes while Raut dropped anchor at one end but also hit eight boundaries.
Mandhana made her intentions clear right from the start when she clubbed the first two balls of her innings for sixes off Shabnim Ismail (1/46).
However, India lost an early wicket when Jemimah Rodrigues (8 off 19 balls) dragged one to the stumps in the fifth over.
While Indian women have not played for a year before the ongoing series, Jemimah’s poor form dates back to the World T20 time as she hasn’t been amongst runs for a considerable period of time.
Raut then took some time to get going but Mandhana was in full flow as she picked up boundaries regularly to keep the scoreboard ticking.
If the short balls were dispatched over the ropes, one outside the off-stump was sent to the third-man boundary with a deft late cut and 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, while 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 was the most successful batswoman for South Africa as she scored a 77-ball 49, while skipper Sune Luus chipped in with a 57-ball 36.

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