Jhulan Goswami’s four-wicket haul backed by Smrithi Mandhana’s unbeaten 80 helped India defeat South Africa by nine wickets in the second ODI to level the five-match series 1-1 in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Goswami returned with figures of 10-0-42-4 and was ably supported by seamer Mansi Joshi 92/23) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/37) as India dismissed South Africa for 157 after opting to field.
Indian opener Mandhana (80 not out off 64 balls) and Punam Raut (62 not out, 89 balls) shared an unbeaten 138-run partnership for the second wicket with India the target in only 28.4 overs to bounce back from their eight-wicket loss in the first ODI.
“Our opening bowlers bowled well and put pressure on them. The spinners too found their rhythm in the middle overs. The fielding was good too,” said India captain Mithali Raj. “It looked like we had rhythm. We analysed after the first game what was needed to improve. I had a lot of feedback on the ground so that shows everyone was involved in the game as a unit.”
Jhulan Goswami added “It is challenging to play after a year. Tried to put the ball in the right areas. I always share my insights with the youngsters. Since the World Cup has been postponed to next year, I know I have to work hard on my fitness to be ready.”
Mandhana blasted 10 fours and three sixes while Raut took her time to get going before finishing the game with eight boundaries. However, India lost an early wicket when Jemimah Rodrigues out for 8 in the fifth over.
Earlier Lara Goodall scored a 77-ball 49 while South Africa skipper Sune Luus chipped in with 57-ball 36.
Electing to field first, the Indian pacers Goswami and Joshi made early breakthroughs dismissing openers Lizelle Lee (4) and Laura Wolvaardt (9) cheaply.While Luus and Goodall put on a 60 run partnership, Joshi returned and dismissed Luus in the 21st over.
The Indian spinners worked in tandem and took control of the match. Additionally, Goswami cleaned up Goodall with her first delivery reducing South Africa to 130/6. Thereafter the Proteas lost momentum and kept losing wickets.