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Pandey helps India level series

A brilliant half-century from Shikha Pandey helped India win the second women’s ODI of the three-match series against South Africa by six wickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. With the win, India levelled the series 1-1 and kept their hope alive to clinch the series. The third and deciding match will be played at the same venue on Friday.

Shikha, who earlier hauled three South African wickets, put on a match-winning 89-run stand for the fourth wicket with Harmanpreet Kaur (42 not out off 61 balls with four boundaries), to help India post 187 for four in 44.4 overs. South Africa, who were sent into bat by India Captain Mithali Raj, were restricted to 186 for eight in stipulated 50 overs, with some good bowling by right-arm medium pacer Shikha and right-arm leg-spinner Ekta Bisht.

Shikha, who cracked her maiden ODI half century, was dismissed for 59 off 56 balls when she was caught by Aakash Rawat off Marizanne Kapp. Shikha, the Goan girl, raced to her half century, smashing eight boundaries and a six along the way.

India started the run chase rather sedately with Poonam Raut and Smriti Mandhana, accumulating 37 runs in 14 overs, before the later offered a catch to Sunette Loubser off Dane Van Niekerk for 16 off 42 balls. Mithali did not last long. She succumbed to Niekerk by giving a catch to Loubser after she made six off 18 balls, while bulk of the scoring was being done by Poonam.
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