After a defeat in the first ODI of the five-match series against South Africa, India’s women cricket team scripted a tremendous victory in the second One Day International by a massive 9 wickets in Lucknow to level the series by 1-1. Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut emerged as the wrecker-in-chief for the Indian team with their match-defining knocks of 80* and 62* respectively.
The match commenced with the India skipper Mithali Raj winning the toss and inviting the South Africa team to bat first.The visitors received their first hiccup in the form of Lizelle Lee as she went back to the pavilion in the first over only after scoring 4 runs. She was soon followed by Laura Wolvaardt, who could manage just 9 runs.
After a failure of both the opening batters, captain Sune Luus and Lara Goodall stepped up and played two sublime knocks of 36 and 49 runs. However, their dismissal triggered a collapse of SA’s batting line-up as India managed to take all the 10 wickets within 41 overs with just 157 runs on the board.
For India, Jhulan Goswami ended up as the highest wicket-taker with 4 wickets under her belt while Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Mansi Joshi had three and two scalps to their name. Harmanpreet Kaur also managed to pick one wicket.
In reply to a below-par target of 158, India also had a torrid start to their campaign as 20-year-old opening batter Jemimah Rodrigues couldn’t survive in the middle and lost her wicket after scoring 9 runs off the delivery of pacer Shabnim Ismail.
However, that was the only wicket picked by South Africa throughout the game as Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut launched an attack on the opposition bowlers and stitched a crucial unbeaten partnership of 138 runs. While Smriti emerged as the highest run-getter for her knock of 80 runs off 64 deliveries, Punam also made a valuable contribution by adding 62 runs to the scoreboard.
Owing to the heroics of three players namely Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, and Punam Raut, India ended up on the winning side and managed to level the series.