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Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday scored a blistering half-century, her 10th consecutive in a run chase.

Photo: Matt Roller

Indian women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday scored a blistering half-century as the hosts registered a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the second ODI to level the five-match series at 1-1. The left-handed batter also became the first-ever cricketer, male or female, to smash 10 consecutive scores of 50 or more in ODIs during the run chases. She surpassed New Zealand’s Suzie Bates who had nine successive scores of 50 and more in run chases between 2015 and 2017Her scores hence read: 67, 52, 86, 53*, 73*, 105, 90*, 63, 74 and 80*. No other male or female cricketer has scored more than six 50-plus scores in consecutive ODI chases. India skipper Mithali Raj won the toss asked South Africa to bat. The bowlers proved their captain right by taking two quick wickets inside first five overs, with veteran Jhulan Goswami and Mansi Joshi getting rid of the two openers.

South Africa skipper Sune Luus combined with Lara Goodall and kept Indian bowlers at bay, adding 60 runs for the third wicket. Mansi Joshi got Luus caught behind stumps on 36 to break the partnership. Goodall was cleaned up by India vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur with the batter just one short of her fifty.

After two quick wickets, South Africa’s batting crumbled like a pack of cards and they folded for a paltry 157 in 41 overs. Jhulan was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Mansi Joshi took three and two wickets respectively.With series level at 1-1, the third ODI will be played on March 12 in Lucknow.

Overall, Mandhana averages 63.26 in run chases – the second most by a player who has featured in at least 20 ODIs. Australia captain Meg Lanning (67.81) only has a better record than Mandhana. Her breathtaking innings were laced with 10 fours and three sixes. During her knock, she also created a new world record. She became the first-ever cricketer to hit 10 consecutive fifty-plus scores in ODI cricket while chasing. She has scored 50+ runs in every ODI chase starting from 2018.

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