Skipper Mithali Raj and Punam Raut scored half-centuries, before Harmanpreet Kaur's late blitz helped India achieve a comfortable five-wicket win in the second game of the three-match ODI series played in Vadodara.
India had a decent enough start as openers Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues responded to South Africa's 247/8 with a steady approach in the first eight overs of the chase. However, both failed to capitalise on their starts, losing their wickets after scoring 20 and 18 respectively, before Mithali and Poonam combined for a 129-run stand for the third wicket to get things firmly under control.
Raut scored 65 off 92, hitting seven fours while Mithali's 66 came at an impressive strike-rate of 80.49, with eight hits to the fence. Both batters fell within a space of three deliveries with a little more than ten overs left and all-rounder Deepti Sharma followed soon to revive hopes for the visitors. However, Harmanpreet Kaur scored a quickfire 39*, striking at 144.44, and hit five fours and a six to complete the chase with two overs remaining. Seamer Ayabonga Khaka picked up three wickets for South Africa, while Marizanne Kapp bowled a disciplined nine-over spell, finishing with returns of 1/29.
Earlier in the day, openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt laid a solid foundation for the visitors with a 76-run stand, after they were put in to bat first. Lee's innings was cut short by Poonam Yadav when on 40, while Wolvaardt top-scored for South Africa with a patient 98-ball 69.
Wicket-keeper batter Mignon du Preez and all-rounder Lara Goodall contributed with fluent 44 and 38 respectively, but both were removed by Ekta Bisht in quick succession to help India crawl back in the latter stage of the innings. Bisht, Yadav and Shikha Pandey picked up two wickets each.
Punam Raut was adjudged Player of the Match for her match-winning effort. The hosts have now taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Monday, 14th October.
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