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1st ODI: Mandhana's fantastic 117 helps India post 265/8 against South Africa

16 Jun, 2024 17:50 IST|Sakshi Post

Bengaluru, June 16 (IANS) Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana slammed a fantastic 117 off 121 balls, her sixth century in ODIs, as India posted 265/8 against South Africa in the series opener at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

On a slightly sluggish pitch which offered variable bounce, seam movement and spin, India were reduced to 99/5 at one stage after electing to bat first. But Smriti stood tall, played her shots all over the park and even kept cramps at bay to keep India’s innings together with utmost discipline, control and remarkable composure.

In the process of bailing India out of trouble, Smriti brought up her first ODI century at home, laced with 12 fours and a six, to enthrall an enthusiastic Sunday crowd. She was also well-supported by knocks from Deepti Sharma (37) and Pooja Vastrakar (31) as India crossed 250-mark.

For South Africa, pacer Ayabonga Khaka took 3-47 while Masabata Klass starred with 2-51 in a bowling attack which didn’t have Marizanne Kapp, who is playing as a specialist batter in the game due to workload management following a minor back injury.

Smriti started off the proceedings with back-to-back beautiful drives off Masabata, but saw Shafali Verma being lured into an expansive drive off Ayabonga and nicked behind to a diving Sinalo Jafta. Dayalan Hemalatha’s promotion to number three didn’t last long as she miscued to mid-off against Nonkululeko Mlaba.

Though Smriti nailed her pulls off debutante Annerie Dercksen, India continued to lose wickets as captain Harmanpreet Kaur chipped to extra cover and give the seamer her maiden international wicket. It was followed by a returning Jemimah Rodrigues slog-sweeping to mid-wicket off Nondumiso Shangase and Richa Ghosh nicking behind off Ayabonga.

Smriti got a good applause from the crowd when she reached her fifty in 61 balls and brought up the fifty of her partnership with Deepti through a well-timed pull going for four. Deepti began nailing her sweeps off Nondumiso from the other end, followed by Smriti lofting and sweeping her for boundaries to keep India in the hunt for posting a competitive total.

But against the run of play, Deepti chopped on to her stumps off Ayabonga. Smriti, though, was undeterred, swiping and lofting to get a four and six off Masabata, before reaching the three-figure mark in 116 balls with a gentle flick going for a single.

She hit two more boundaries off Ayabonga, before holing out to deep square leg off a slower ball from Masabata, and fall for 117, with the crowd giving her a standing ovation on scoring her seventh ton in women’s international cricket.

Apart from being the second India women’s batter to cross the landmark of 7000 international runs, Smriti also overtook Mithali Raj’s 109 against West Indies in 2011 to claim the new record for the highest ODI score by an Indian batter in women’s ODIs.

Pooja smashed three boundaries in her unbeaten knock and along with debutante Asha Sobhana hitting a four, she ensured India posted a fairly good total and challenge South Africa’s batters in chasing it down.

Brief Scores: India 265/8 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 117, Deepti Sharma 37; Ayabonga Khaka 3-47, Masabata Klass 2-51) against South Africa

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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