Smriti Mandhana remained an unstoppable juggernaut with a record-smashing half century but the Indian women’s cricket team failed to make it count, going down by 23 runs in the opening T20 International against New Zealand in Wellington on Wednesday.
Two of India’s batsmwomen got out for a duck while only three (Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur) managed to reach double figures as India were outclassed.
Smriti Mandhana smacked a fifty in just 24 deliveries to record the fastest half century in the shortest format by an Indian woman. This was Mandhana’s seventh T20I fifty as India were chasing a target of 160.
Lea Tahuhu was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand as she returned with figures of 3 for 20. Leigh Kasperek (2 for 25) and Amelia Kerr (2 for 28) also starred with the ball for the White Ferns.
After opting to bowl, India women restricted New Zealand to 159 for four in their allotted 20 overs. Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav claimed a wicket each for India.
- Recently, Mandhana played some match-winning knocks in India’s spectacular 2-1 win over New Zealand in the ODI series. In the series in New Zealand, she scored her fourth ODI century and an unbeaten 90 in the first two matches respectively to grab top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings for Women’s batters.
- Mandhana’s exploits against New Zealand helped her jump three places, leapfrogging Australians Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning to the the number one ranking.
- Indian women’s team ODI captain Mithali Raj dropped down a place to fifth losing her spot to Amy Satterthwaite, the New Zealand captain who flew up 10 places to No.4.
- According to an International Cricket Council (ICC) statement, it was fine recognition for Smriti Mandhana, who has been in an exemplary form in the one-day format.
- In the 15 ODIs Smriti Mandhana has played since the beginning of 2018, she has scored two centuries and eight half-centuries.