India Women vs Australia Women: Mandhana scores fluent 70* before bad weather stops play

Before the play was stopped due to lightning and thunderstorm, Team India reached 114/1 in 39.3 overs. The ICC takes a strong view of any lightning activity, with the safety of the players being the utmost priority. Hence, the match was stopped and rain also started at the venue as covers were drawn.

Earlier, Team India were off to a solid start as they reached reaching 101 for 1 at the dinner break on opening day. Mandhana, who peppered the off-side field repeatedly with some gorgeous shots to reach 64 off 112 balls with 13 boundaries, added 93 for the opening stand with Shafali Verma (31 off 64 balls), who played the second fiddle during their partnership.

The Australian team’s decision to field first after laying a green strip for the visitors did seem to backfire as Mandhana attacked them straight away during the first hour of play.

In fact, it was a case of role reversal which perhaps caught the Australians off-guard as Shafali was more intent on playing a defensive game as her senior partner attacked with great gusto. Debutant Darcie Brown got some special punishment as Mandhana hit her for a number of boundaries both on the off-side as well as a few whip shots on the leg-side.

Ellyse Perry also took a few overs to find the right length as the elegant left-hander reached her run-a-ball fifty in no time with a cover drive of Tahlia McGrath. Whenever Mandhana bisected between point and cover or cover or mid-off, it was the most pleasant sight.

In case of Shafali, she did hit four boundaries but also looked a bit scratchy having offered a couple of chances — one to Meg Lanning in the slips which was a reflex catch and the other to Annabel Sutherland stationed at mid-on. Finally she was gone trying to hit left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux against the turn and offered a sitter to McGrath at mid-off.

Mandhana’s innings had two parts — while the first fifty came at break neck speed, the next 14 runs took 62 deliveries as she played the defensive game till lunch in the company of Punam Raut (1 batting).

(With PTI inputs)

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