Smriti Mandhana proved her class once again on Tuesday when she played a match-winning knock against South Africa in the second women’s ODI of the five-match series at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. Mandhana was in scintillating form and her batting impressed Bollywood actressTaapsee Pannu a lot.
Taapsee took to Twitter to express her joy at seeing Mandhana bat as she took India home in their chase of 158 with 9 wickets and 21.2 overs to spare. The actressretweeted a tweet, saying, “@mandhana_smriti what a delight to watch you play Clapping hands sign.”
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) March 9, 2021
Mandhana remained unbeaten on 80 off 64 balls as India cruised to victory to tie the series 1-1.
Earlier, Mithali Raj won the toss and sent South Africa to bat first in Lucknow. The visitors lost two quick wickets, thanks to some fine bowling from Jhulan Goswami and Mansi Joshi. Then, captain Sune Luus and Lara Goodall steadied the ship with a 60-run stand for the third wicket before Joshi returned and got the important wicket of Luus for 36. Wickets once again kept tumbling after that and once Goodall fell for 49 in the 34th over, the Proteas’ hopes of putting a big score diminished and they finally folded for 157 from 41 overs.
Goswami was the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets for 42 runs from her 10 overs.
Coming out to bat, India had it easy but lost Jemimah Rodrigues for 9 in the 5th over as she was cleaned up by Shabnim Ismail. But, that was the last bit of joy for South Africa as Mandhana and Punam Raut steadied the ship and attacked in the right way to make sure there were no more fumbles along the way. Raut finished with 62 off 89 balls, hitting eight boundaries in the process and scoring her 14th ODI fifty. Mandhana, on the other hand, slammed an unbeaten 80, hitting 10 fours and three maximums. This was Mandhana’s 18th ODI fifty.
The player-of-the-match award went to Goswami for her figures of 4/42.
The third ODI of the series will be played at the same venue on March 12.