Veteran Jhulan Goswami's four-wicket haul was beautifully complemented by Smriti Mandhana's sparkling half-century as Indian women outplayed South Africa by nine wickets in the second ODI to level the five-match series 1-1, in Lucknow, on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Goswami returned with excellent figures of 10-0-42-4 and she was ably supported by fellow seamer Mansi Joshi (2/23) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/37) as India dismissed South Africa for a paltry 157 after opting to field.
Opener Mandhana smashed 80 not out from 64 balls putting on an unbroken stand of 138 runs for the second wicket with Punam Raut, who made 62 not out as India overhauling the target in only 28.4 overs to bounce back in some style after their eight-wicket loss in the first ODI.
Mandhana blasted 10 fours and three sixes while Raut dropped anchor at one end but also hit eight boundaries.
Mandhana made her intentions clear right from the start when she clubbed the first two balls of her innings for sixes off Shabnim Ismail (1/46).
However, India lost an early wicket when Jemimah Rodrigues (8) was bowled by Ismail in the fifth over.
While Indian women have not played for a year before the ongoing series, Jemimah's poor form dates back to the World T20 time as she hasn't been amongst runs for a considerable period of time.
Raut took some time to get going but Mandhana was in full flow from the start as she picked up boundaries regularly to keep the scoreboard ticking.
If the short balls were pulled over the ropes, the wide delivery outside the off-stump was sent to the third-man boundary with a deft late cut and anything fullish was driven through the covers.
Raut cut loose in the 15th over, blasting two fours off Nonkululeko Mlaba.
In the 20th over, Mandhana picked up successive fours to get to her fifty in style, while Raut crossed the 50-mark with an innovative short behind the keeper.
Earlier, Lara Goodall was the most successful batswoman for South Africa as she scored a 77-ball 49, while skipper Sune Luus chipped in with a 57-ball 36.
Electing to field, the Indian pacers were rewarded for bowling a probing line as Goswami and Joshi made early breakthroughs, dismissing openers Lizelle Lee (4) and Laura Wolvaardt (9) cheaply.
Luus and Goodall then added 60 runs but Joshi returned to dismiss the South Africa skipper in the 21st over.
The spinners then took control of the proceedings as Deepti Sharma and Gayakwad bowled in tandem.
In the 26th over, Mignon du Preez (11) was caught by Deepti at cover after she was deceived by Gayakwad in flight.
India skipper Mithali Raj made some excellent bowling changes as Goswami returned to get rid of Marizanne Kapp (10) and vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur cleaned up Goodall in her first delivery, reducing South Africa to 130 for 6.
Goswami struck twice in the 38th over, cleaning up Nadine de Klerk (8) and Shabnim Ismail (0) to reduce South Africa to 144 for 8.
Chetty was later dismissed by Gayakwad, who also accounted for Nonkululeko Mlaba.'
South Africa women: 157 all out in 41 overs (Lara Goodall 49, Sune Luus 36, J Goswami 4/42, R Gayakwad 3/37, M Joshi 2/23).
India women: 160-1 in 28.4 overs (S Mandhana 80 not out, P Raut 62 not out).
Result: India women win by nine wickets.