One of the most elegant batters in world cricket, Smriti Mandhana, in India’s opening ODI of the 3-match series against England put on a smooth show that guided India to a win in the contest chasing a low total after a brilliant bowling display restricted England to total of 227 in 50 overs.
Smriti Mandhana got her innings underway with a single off the second ball and soon after settling herself in, smashed a couple of back-to-back boundaries and straightaway looked set for a big one. From there on, boundaries came in at regular intervals which built her innings and when was on 46, shimmed down the wicket and effortlessly drove one over the mid-off to get to her 24th ODI half-century off 61 balls. As she got past her 50*, she couldn’t get the boundaries, but with the asking rate now much, she rotated the strike and built her innings which did have a couple of odd boundaries on her way heading to the century.
She when was on 83, middled one down the ground that sailed over long-on for a maximum and got her to 89(94). Kate Cross when came on for her final spell after registering figures of 7-1-37-1 created an instant impact dismissing Smriti Mandhana on 91(99) off a leading edge to a full delivery that Alice Richards on mid-on held on to. Smriti Mandhana missed out on yet another century but known for holding her composure on the 22-yard and beyond, all she was smiled on her way back.
In the last encounter, West Indies created history by beating New Zealand in World Cup by 3 runs.
Who’s winning this one?#WIvNZ #CricketTwitter pic.twitter.com/1Vj4MSMrEd
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 19, 2022
Smriti Mandhana in the post-match ceremony reflected on her innings by sharing, “I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I stayed not out, but big thanks to the Indian crowd for coming out to watch, glad we could put up a show for you guys. I think the One-Day format is a natural game for me because I like to go out there and time the ball, in T20Is I need to work on my strike rate.
“Really happy to score for India regardless of the format and get the W on the board. Good that Harman(preet Kaur) finally won the toss (laughs), we could see the wicket enough and then I had to resist my backfoot game and play more on the front foot, that was a small tweak I made today.”
Smriti Mandhana won the player of the match medal for her impressive 91-off-99 balls and concluded her post-match ceremony interaction by stating, “I would like to dedicate this medal to Jhulu Di (Jhulan Goswami), this entire series we will be playing to dedicate to Jhunnu Di.”
India’s clinical outing with the bat and ball saw the side with a dominating win get the much-wanted 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. India first with the ball restricted England from converting their slow starts and then did exceeding well in closing the game out commandingly with 7 wickets in hands.
India will look to carry the gained momentum to the second ODI game that’s scheduled to be played on the 21st of September at the St. Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, and seal the Jhulan Goswami farewell series 2-0 before heading to Lord’s, London on the 24th of September where Jhulan Goswami will bid farewell to the game she’s graced for 20-years.
Smriti Mandhana with yet another valuable innings coming in a run-chase has improved her numbers which now sees her with 1152* runs across 32 innings while chasing at an average of 59.69, a strike rate of 90.49 and has got as many as 15-half-centuries and couple of centuries to her name with the best score of 106*.