Smriti Mandhana © Getty Images
Smriti Mandhana © Getty Images

Put in to bat, India had a topsy-turvy innings against Australia in the first T20I of the triangular series, at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Smriti Mandhana set the ball rolling for her side, but Australia came back strong thanks to tight bowling. India suffered a batting collapse yet again, a trend that has followed the women’s side since their South Africa tour. In the end they managed just 152 courtesy some late hitting by Anuja Patil.

Mandhana and Mithali Raj came out to opening the innings. Fresh from a superb ODI series, Mandhana took on Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen. They were taken for 12 and 14 in their respective first overs. Mithali started to open up soon as well. The pair added 50 runs in 42 balls. Mandhana was in particularly heavy against Australia’s spin bowling. She reached her third T20I fifty in just 30 balls off a six off Ellyse Perry.

Raj was stumped for 18, trying to go up and over to Gardner, who bowled wide, and Alyssa Healy completed the rest. Harmanpreet Kaur came out with an aggressive intent, only to watch Smriti go for an expansive drive over mid on off Gardner and perish in the process.

The stage was set for an onslaught that never happened. Jemimah Rodrigues fell for 1, trying to pull Perry, who also claimed Kaur, for 13. Patil got a brisk 21-ball 35, including 6, 4, 4 off Perry’s last over. She eventually fell to Delissa Kimmince. Veda Krishnamurthy remained unbeaten on 15.

Brief score

India Women 152 for 5 (Smriti Mandhana 67, Anuja Patil 35 ; Ashleigh Gardner 2 for 22) vs Australia Women