Skipper Mithali Raj and Punam Raut smashed impressive fifties to guide the Indian women’s team to a series-clinching five-wicket win over South Africa in the second ODI here on Friday.
India first restricted South Africa to a competitive 247-6 after electing to field and then returned to overhaul the target with two overs to spare and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Pacer Shikha Pandey (2/38), left-arm spinner Ekta Bist (2/45) and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (2/42) returned with two wickets each to keep the visitors to a below-par score.
Chasing 248 to win, the Indian women lost openers Priya Punia (20) and Jemimah Rodrigues (18) early to slip to 66 for two in 12.5 overs.
However, Punam (65 off 92) and Mithali (66 off 82) resurrected the chase by sharing a 129-run partnership for the third wicket.
Marizanne Kapp (1/29) broke the stand when she had Mithali caught by Laura Wolvaardt in the 40th over.
In the next over, Punam too departed when she holed out to Kapp off Ayabonga Khaka, leaving India at 196 for four in 40.1 overs.
Harmanpreet Kaur then hit an unbeaten quick-fire 27-ball 39, laced with five boundaries and a six, to take India home with 12 balls to spare.
Earlier put into bat, openers Lizelle Lee (40) and Laura Wolvaardt (69) gave South Africa a solid start, taking them to 76 in 15.4 overs.
Once Lee was removed by Poonam, Trisha Chetty (22) gave company to Wolvaardt, adding 51 runs.
Shikha provided India twin breakthroughs, dismissing Chetty and Wolvaardt, as South Africa slumped to 142 for 3.
M du Preez (44) and Lara Goodall (38) took the visiting team past the 200-run mark.
However, once Goodall was dismissed in the 43rd over, skipper Sune Luus (12) couldn’t stay long either.
Du Preez took South Africa close to 250 before falling in the last over.
India will now play South Africa in the third and final ODI on October 14.
South Africa: 247/6 in 50 overs (L Wolvaardt 69, M du Preez 44, S Pandey 2/38)
India: 248/5 in 48 overs (P Raut 65, M Raj 66, A Khaka 3/69).