Mandhana ton guides India to 265-8 against South Africa

PTI, Jun 16, 2024, 6:16 PM IST

Credit: @BCCIwomen /X

Bengaluru: A resolute hundred by vice-captain Smriti Mandhana helped India survive a top-order wobble and post a competitive 265 for eight against South Africa in the first women’s ODI here on Sunday.
Mandhana (117, 127b, 12×4, 1×6), who made her sixth ODI ton, and Deepti Sharma (37, 48b, 3×4) added 81 runs (92b) for the sixth wicket.

Pooja Vastrakar (31 not out) assisted Mandhana to make 58 runs (54b) for the seventh wicket as India got out of a shaky 99 for five after electing to bat first.

Mandhana has a lot of flair in her batting but here she was forced to eschew that because of the team situation and the sluggish nature of the pitch at the Chinnaswamy to which India top-order batters like Shafali Verma (7), captain Harmanpreet Kaur (10) and Jemimah Rodrigues (17) failed to adapt, leading to their soft dismissals.

Mandhana was on 33 when India’s fifth batter fell, and she had to preserve her wicket to take India forward.

She did that job to perfection. Largely making her runs through those nips and tucks, Mandhana was also happy to free her hands when width was offered.

The left-hander’s swivel pull off debutant pacer Anne Dercksen and a little shimmy down the track to deposit offie Nondumiso Shangase over mid-on carried streaks of her elegance.

But a good chunk of credit should also go to Deepti in making Mandhana’s job easier, playing a counter-punching innings.

It wasn’t overtly aggressive but Deepti picked her bowlers and spots well to accumulate runs. The left-hander took a liking for Shangase, whom she swept for all her three boundaries.

But that above said low bounce did Deepti in as she dragged pacer Ayabonga Khaka’s wide delivery on to her stumps.

However, Mandhana continued her solid ways and reached 99 from 93 with a beautifully timed six off pacer Masabata Klaas over mid-on.

She took a single in the next ball off Klaas to reach hundred in 116 balls, soaking in cheers from the dressing room and an adoring crowd.

The local crowd was well behind the Royal Challengers Bengaluru captain, till she was ousted by Klaas.

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