India 160 for 1 (Mandhana 80*, Raut 62*) beat South Africa 157 (Goodall 49, Goswami 4-42) by nine wickets
India Women levelled the five-match series against South Africa 1-1 by polishing off a small target with 21.2 overs to spare and denied South Africa a record eighth successive win. The victory was India's biggest margin of success against South Africa by wickets.
Roles were entirely reversed from Sunday's fixture when South Africa eased their way to an eight-wicket win after opting to chase, and restricted their opposition with a clinical display in the field. The hosts were much improved from that performance, had clearly shaken off any rustiness and created several chances in the field. Jhulan Goswami headlined their effort with four wickets and was well supported by returning seamer Mansi Joshi - who has not played ODIs since October 2019 - and the spinners. Rajeshwari Gayakwad chipped in with three wickets and ensured South Africa's middle-order was not allowed to settle or score freely.
Lara Goodall was South Africa's best batter and fell one short of what would have been her second ODI half-century, but just one other player, stand-in captain Sune Luus scored more than 12. South Africa only had one partnership over 20 runs thanks to Goodall and Luus, who put on 60 for the third wicket, and their last six wickets fell for 44 runs.
By contrast, India's unbeaten second-wicket stand was worth 138 and both Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut reached half-centuries and were largely untroubled at the crease. They blunted South Africa's attack and took Shabnim Ismail for 46 runs in six overs to impose themselves on a bowling group that had too few runs to work with.
Mandhana hit Ismail for back-to-back sixes in the first over, both off short balls. Her first shot, a swivel-pull, was a commanding one but her second, a top-edge over fine-leg suggested Ismail's line of attack might work. It did, but against Jemima Rodrigues, who under-edged an attempted pull onto her leg stump in the fifth over. That gave South Africa a sniff, but that was just about all they got.
There was an opportunity to run Mandhana out in the next over but Ismail did not manage a direct hit and Mandhana got an inside edge off Marizanne Kapp but only as far as her pad. After that, she was in complete control.
She drove with authority and timed the ball to perfection to allow Raut time to get herself in. It took 31 balls before Raut found the boundary, when she charged Nonkululekho Mlaba and went over mid-wicket, and then danced down the track to hit her through mid-off. Mandhana brought up her fifty off 48 balls with an uppish drive through the covers and took India to 100 runs in 21 overs.
Raut should have been out in the next over when she lofted Ayabonga Khaka to long-on but Nadine de Klerk overran. Mandhana should have been out the over after that when she holed out to mid-off off Luus, but the delivery was adjudged a no-ball for height. South Africa were unable to create any more chances, Raut went on to reach fifty off 79 balls with a ramp shot and freed her arms to find the boundary twice more but left it to Mandhana to hit the winning runs with a straight drive down the ground.
Ultimately, the ease with which Mandhana and Raut could bat was set up by India's bowlers, who were well managed by the captain Mithali Raj who brought back seamers at crucial times.
Goswami struck in her first over when Lizelle Lee missed a flick, was hit on the pad in front of middle and leg and was given out lbw to dent South Africa early on. Her opening partner, Laura Wolvaardt, followed soon after when she poked at a Joshi delivery that moved away and took the outside edge to leave South Africa 20 for 2 inside six overs.
They could have been in much more early trouble after Luus gave Rodrigues a tough chance at gully, which she could not hold on to, and Deepti Sharma's lbw appeal against Luus was turned down, as she missed a sweep.
Luus continued to play the shot and survived another lbw appeal two overs later, but then adjusted to using her feet and going down the track to attack the spinners. She drove Sharma over her head for four and then took back-to-back boundaries off Poonam Yadav's opening over. Luus and Goodall settled against Gayakwad so Raj went back to Joshi and the move paid off.
In the 21st over, Joshi found the same away movement she had with the new ball and got Luus to drive a wide delivery to give Sushma Verma a simple catch. Goodall should have been out in the next over when she misread a Yadav googly and got a leading edge but Goswami's diving effort at short fine leg was not enough to send her on her way. Instead, it was Mignon du Preez who fell victim to a sharp take. She was deceived by flight from Gayakwad and was early on the drive giving Sharma a chance at cover. She had to dive low to her right and held on.
Goodall brought up South Africa's century with a single down the ground and Kapp's two fours in two overs suggested South Africa could still post a good total if the pair stayed together. But Kapp only lasted a ball after the second drinks break, when she looked to flick Goswami on the leg-side but got a leading edge to midwicket. Goodall was in the forties then and inched towards a half-century but was bowled by Harmanpreet Kaur's first delivery which took out her middle stump.
Kaur was only used for that one over before Raj brought Goswami back to finish things off. She had Trisha Chetty caught off a no-ball before taking two wickets in three balls in her penultimate over by bowling both de Klerk off the inside edge and Ismail, who tried to defend a delivery that moved across her, to end with four. Gayakwad ended the innings on 157 when Chetty top-edged a slog sweep to long-on and Mlaba chipped a catch to cover.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent