Smriti Mandhana scored an unbeaten 80 on a rain-hit opening day as the Indian women’s cricket team remained unbeaten on 132 for one in the ODI Day/Night Test against Australia.
Mandhana, who repeatedly fielded some gorgeous shots off-side to make 80 off 144 balls with 15 fours and a six, added 93 for the opening stand with Shafali Verma (31 off 64 balls), who Played the second fiddle during them. Partnerships.
Most of the second session was washed out but Mandhana added another 16 runs to surpass her previous best of 78.
Rain plays poorly at Carrara Oval, forcing early stumps on opening day #ausvind testing.
India are on 132/1 Smriti Mandhana on 80* and Poonam Raut on 16*.
— ICC (@ICC) September 30, 2021
She slams Tahlia McGrath for a six at deep square leg and takes the same bowler for a boundary at mid-wicket.
Her company is Poonam Raut (16 batting, 57 balls) and she added 39 runs for the second wicket in the 45th over before the rain stopped and could not resume.
The Australian team’s decision to field first by laying a green belt for the spectators backfired as Mandhana attacked them directly during the first hour of the game.
An astonishing 16 boundaries were hit in the first 16 overs, mostly by Mandhana and some by Shafali, as Meg Lanning shuffled with her bowlers without much success.
In fact, it was a case of role reversal that might have caught the Australian off-guard as Shafali was more intent on playing a defensive game while her senior teammate attacked with great enthusiasm.
Debutant Darcy Brown got some special punishment as Mandhana hit him for multiple boundaries for some whip shots on the off-side as well as on the leg-side.
Ellyse Perry also took a few overs to find the right length. The elegant Indian left-hander reached his run-a-ball fifty in no time with a cover drive from McGrath.
Whenever Mandhana split between point and cover or cover or mid-off, it was the happiest sight.
It never looked like he offered any delivery, but Thursday just coaxed with his impeccable timing at the Metricon Stadium.
In Shafali’s case, she hit four boundaries but was also hit with a few scratches and gave some chances – a reflex catch to Meg Lanning at slips and Annabel Sutherland positioned at mid-on.
She eventually tried to hit left-arm spinner Sophie Molyneux against the turn and offered McGrath a sitter at mid-off.
In fact once spinners Molyneux (1/18) and Ashley Gardner (0/14 in 0.1) bowled with the semi-new pink Kookaburra, Australia finally found a way to check the run flow.
The change of pace in her delivery showed Mandhana a little more patience than she displayed during that first hour.
His first 51 runs came off 50 balls and the next 29 came in 94, while Raut also played his customary defensive game. A total of over 300 will definitely keep India firmly in the game.