Smriti Mandhana broke several records during the South Africa tour of India

Indian opener Smriti Mandhana had a phenomenal all-format series against South Africa, which recently concluded in Chennai with the three-match T20I series being levelled by India with a scoreline of 1-1. It was Smriti Mandhana who once again guided India to a comfortable 10-wicket victory in the final match with a stunning 54 off 40 balls.

Smriti Mandhana broke several records during the South Africa tour of India
Smriti Mandhana broke several records during the South Africa tour of India

Commencing with the ODIs, held between June 16th to June 23rd in Bengaluru, at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, followed by the one-off Test was played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from June 28th to July 1st, and concluded with the three-match T20I series played from July 5th to July 9th, in Chennai.

The left-handed batter has caused constant headaches for the Proteas throughout the series, amassing over 592 runs at an outstanding average of 118 in six innings in the multi-format series.

Mandhana scored a whopping 343 runs in the three-match ODI series in Bengaluru. She was the leading run-scorer of the series, scoring 343 runs at a strike rate of 103, which came at a stellar average of 114, including two centuries and one fifty. In the first ODI, the left-handed batter smashed 117, scoring her first century on home soil. In the same match, she achieved the milestone of 7000 international runs. Following her century, India scored a total of 265, winning the match by 143 runs. Mandhana was awarded the Player of the Match for her exceptional century.

South Africa thought they could take a breather in the second ODI, but Smriti was unstoppable, scoring her second consecutive century. She struck 136 off 120 balls, smashing 18 boundaries and two sixes. It was her highest ODI score and also her seventh hundred in ODI cricket, the joint-highest for India alongside Mithali Raj. The Bengaluru crowd witnessed Mandhana’s bowling skills as well, as her medium pace scalped a wicket in her first-ever over, dismissing Sune Luus. India registered a 4-run win over the Proteas in a nail-biting clash.

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The Indian opener missed out on a well-deserved century in the third ODI as she got out for 90 off 83 balls while India was chasing 216. However, she had registered her 50th white-ball fifty. India registered a comfortable six-wicket victory against the Proteas, resulting in a whitewash. After aggregating 343 runs in the series, she became the first Asian batter to score more than 300 runs in a three-match ODI series and was rewarded with the Player of the Series award in ODIs.

After an excellent ODI series, Mandhana continued her form with the bat in the one-off Test against the Proteas at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. India elected to bat first on a dusty Chepauk pitch, and Mandhana was involved in a 292-run partnership with her fellow opening partner Shafali Verma.

The left-hand batter scored 149, missing her well-deserved 150. She reached her 100-run mark in 122 balls, smashing 26 boundaries and one six throughout her innings. It was also her highest score for India across formats, registering her second century in Tests. India scored a record 603 runs in the first innings, with the hosts later winning the match by 10 wickets.

Mandhana came into the three-match T20I series with three centuries and one fifty to her name against the Proteas in this series alone. In the first T20I, she scored 46 off 30 balls while India was chasing 190. It was also the only occasion in the series where she failed to score more than 50 runs. South Africa secured a narrow 12-run victory in that match, which was also their first win of the Indian tour.

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The second match between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain, with the Proteas scoring 177 in the first innings and rain interrupting India’s innings without a ball being bowled.

The left-handed batter finished the series on a high note, scoring 54 off 40 in the third T20I when India was chasing 85. She smashed eight boundaries and two sixes in her innings as India registered a comfortable 10-wicket victory to level the series at one each. Mandhana also completed the landmark of 7500 international runs in the third T20I. She finished the series with 592 runs, the most in an all-format series in women’s international cricket, scoring three centuries and two fifties throughout the multi-format series against South Africa.

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