Mandhana also became the second fastest Indian to compete 1000 runs in T20 internationals after Mithali Raj
Opener Smriti Mandhana smashed a career-best 83 to power India to a competitive 167 for 8 against Australia in a group B match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here on Saturday.
Mandhana blasted 9 fours and 3 sixes in her 55-ball 83-run innings to anchor the Indian innings. She also became the second fastest Indian to compete 1000 runs in T20 internationals after Mithali Raj during her innings.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur too produced a strokeful 27-ball 43 studded with three sixes and as many fours to share a 68-run partnership for the third wicket with Mandhana.
India, however, lost a bit of ground in the end following the quick wickets of Veda Krishnamurthy and Dayalan Hemalatha within a space of four balls.
Mandhana gave India a good start after her fellow opening batsman Taniya Bhatia (2) was dismissed in the second over, being caught by Meg Lanning at midwicket off Ashleigh Gardner’s ball.
Mandhana then stepped up and picked up a boundary each in the next two overs to keep the score ticking.
She blasted a four and a six off Sophie Molineux in the 5th over before repeating the treatment to Megan Schutt in the next over to accumulate big runs.
Australia India pegged back in the 7th over when Delissa Kimmince dismissed Jemimah Rodrigues (6), who had scored 59 against New Zealand in the opening match. It was an outside edge that was brilliantly caught by Elyse Villani at short third man.
Skipper Harmanpreet then came out to bat at No. 4 even as Mandhana smashed another one straight down the ground for another boundary.
Harmanpreet too joined in as she charged down the pitch and smashed Molineux over midwicket for her first six.
A beautiful-looking sweep shot then helped Mandhana to complete her fifty in 31 balls.
Harmanpreet then hoisted one over extra cover off Gardner to pick up her second six as India reached 83 for 2 in 10 overs.
The Indian skipper continued to find boundaries, making life difficult for the Australian bowlers.
In the 14th over, Harmanpreet slapped one over extra cover before depositing a full toss by Kimmince over short fine leg.
However an attempt to go for another big shot proved fatal as she was caught by Haynes to leave India at 117 for 3 in 13.3 overs.
In the next over, Mandhana too was on her way back to the hut when she was adjudged LBW by the on-field umpire but she survived after a video referral showed the ball pitched outside leg.
However, India lost the wicket of Krishnamurthy (3) on the other end when debutant Vlaeminck pulled off a stunning catch at square leg off Gardner’s bowling.
Hemalatha (1) too dragged one on to the stumps as India slumped to 136 for 5 in 16.2 overs.
In the 18th over, Mandhana hit a six and a four off Kimmince as India amassed 17 runs but Schutt removed the opener in the next over.
There was also an unfortunate collision between Megan Schutt and wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy as both went for a catch, following a miscued hit by Reddy. Healy then left the field as Beth Mooney took over her duties.
India eventually ended with 167-8.