Smriti Mandhana And Spinners Guide India To Emphatic Win Over Australia, Top Of Group B

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Anuja Patil was the pick of the bowlers as she returned with figures of 3/15 in 3.4 overs.

Apart from Anuja, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma picked two wickets each for India.

Earlier, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and opted to bat. India, after losing Taniya Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues early, were steadied by a 68-run partnership between Mandhana and Harmanpreet (43). Mandhana, who scored her sixth T20I half-century and her first of the tournament, scored boundaries at will, hitting nine boundaries and three sixes.

Harmanpreet, on the other hand, kept her solid form alive by playing a quickfire knock of 43, including three boundaries and as many sixes.

Mandhana, who notched up 1000 T20I runs, became the second quickest to the landmark after veteran Indian cricketer Mithali Raj.

Beth Mooney (19) and  Elyse Villani (6) gave Australia a bright start in the run chase. However, Deepti Sharma dismissed both the Australian openers off successive deliveries to lead India’s fightback.

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With two new batters at the crease, Australia struggled to keep up with the required run-rate as the Indian bowlers stemmed the flow of runs. It was in the 10th over when Radha Yadav got captain Meg Lanning for 10 and from there things quickly went downhill for Australia. Ellyse Perry top scored for Australia with 39 runs off 28 balls.

Australia were dealt a massive setback as they missed the services of Alyssa Healy due to a concussion she suffered during fielding.

Talking about her innings, Mandhana said, “Quite relieved as I was getting starts but not converting them. Wanted to go out there and score big runs. Glad that I could do it today. Whenever the ball hits my pads, I always think it’s out, don’t know why but she (Veda) told me to take the review. Thanks to her, we got 20-30 runs extra. The way we bowled and fielded today was probably the best we did all tournament. In that aspect, this win was special.”

Harmanpreet Kaur said that she is proud of the way the team performed.

“Credit to the girls for the way we played today. We worked really hard, today the fielding coach must be happy with the way we fielded, proud of the girls. We always enjoy when batting together. She played really well and that is what we are expecting from her,” said Harmanpreet in a post-match presentation.