Mandhana Shines As India Women Warms Up With Win

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Raj’s side posts 147 for 4 before restricting Ireland to 118 for 9

Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten 73 off 52 balls guided India Women to a 30-run victory over Ireland Women in the first warm-up match of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday (March 10).

Mandhana’s innings, which included ten fours and one six, was the highlight of India’s first-innings score 147 for 4, before the bowlers combined to restrict Ireland to 118 for 9.

Kim Garth picked up the wickets of VR Vanitha and Mithali Raj off consecutive deliveries to get Ireland off to a good start. The team’s positivity showed in its fielding as the players threw themselves around in the infield. Gaby Lewis, the 14-year-old, was the most energetic and impressive of the lot at covers.

With India in a spot of bother at 16 for 2, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur began to rebuild the innings. Once Harmanpreet fell for 24 – Cecilia Joyce intercepted a wonderfully timed slog sweep off Robyn Lewis, the left-arm spinner, inches in front of the rope – Veda Krishnamurthy joined Mandhana in the middle and the pair put on a 46-run partnership off only 29 deliveries.

Krishnamurthy scored a quick-fire 26 off 19 deliveries before she was caught at long-on to become Garth’s third victim. Mandhana, meanwhile, motored on to her half-century, bringing up the milestone with a six over long off and propelling India to 147 for 4.

Ireland’s chase was rocked early when Shikha Pandey, the right-arm medium pacer, removed Cecilia Joyce and Clare Shillington in her first two overs. The introduction of spin allowed India to control proceedings further. Catherine Dalton tried to keep Ireland ahead of the rate with some lusty blows and put on a 38-run partnership with Isobel Joyce, the captain, but once she was gone for a 30-ball 37, Ireland lost its next five wickets for just 31 runs.

India’s disciplined bowling kept its opponent to 118 for 9, Pandey and Niranjana Nagarajan finishing with two wickets apiece.