Smriti century steers India to victory

Smriti Mandhana helped India ease to a nine-wicket win in their first ICC Women’s Championship one-day international against New Zealand in Napier.

The Western Storm opener scored her fourth ODI century and shared in a 190-run partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues in the nine-wicket win, which was achieved with 102 balls to spare.

Mandhana, the 2018 ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, started the year in the same way that she ended the last as she scored 105 from 104 balls in an innings that included nine fours and three sixes.

India Captain Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to field.

Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine put on 61 for the opening wicket and Amy Satterthwaite made 31 but New Zealand slipped to 192 all out. Ekta Bisht was the pick of the bowlers, claiming three for 32.

Mandhana and Rodrigues wasted no time and plundered 53 from the first ten overs.

Smriti reached her half-century off just 43 balls whilst her opening partner brought up her first ODI half-century off 60 balls.

Smriti’s fourth ODI century came off 101 balls and although she was eventually dismissed with just three runs required for victory, the damage had been done.

After the match, Smriti said: “Initially we just played according to the merit of the ball. We just had to react to the ball, because they had good pacers. The plan was to see how the new ball was doing.

“This was the first time we were batting in New Zealand, and we didn’t really know. We watched a bit of the men’s match and also how the first innings went. So, we decided to just keep it simple, play according to the merit of the ball.”

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