Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj was pleased as punch after her side beat South Africa 9 wickets to level the series 1-1 in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Chasing 158 for victory, India rode on the 2nd-wicket unbroken partnership between Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut to cross the finish line in 28.4 overs.

Mandhana remained unbeaten on 80 off 64 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes while Raut scored 62 not out off 89 balls. The partnership worth 138 off 152 helped India register its biggest win (in terms of ball remaining) against South Africa in women's cricket.

Mithali Raj praised her teammate after the match.

"I think it started from winning the toss, that's where things went right. As I mentioned during the toss, the first few overs will benefit the fast bowlers.

"Credit to Mansi (Joshi) who bowled well with Jhulan (Goswami) and bowled well. There was a good start. The spinners took their time, and Harman's wicket of the left-hander (Lara Goodall) was an important one.

"Our fielding was also good. We sat down and analysed what was needed. The first game was the first after a long time. The bowling coach emphasized to the spinners about what lines to bowl.

"The wicket was quite good. [On her bowling changes] I would say both [plans and instincts] but the involvement was from everybody. Today I had feedback from all over the ground, and that helps the team as a unit when we are on the field," Mithali said at the post-match presentation.

South Africa were bowled out for 157 in 41 overs by India, with veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami grabbing 4 wickets while Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3 for 37) and Mansi Joshi (2 for 23) shared 5 wickets between them.

The 3rd ODI of the five-match series will be played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on March 12.

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