Cricket

Rain plays spoilsport again after Smriti Mandhana’s magnificent ton

Milestone woman! Smriti Mandhana was in her element as she marked up a major career achievement.   | Photo Credit: MATT ROBERTS

Rain wiped out a significant part of the second day’s play after India opener Smriti Mandhana stole the limelight with a magnificent maiden Test hundred in the historic women’s Day-Night match against Australia here on Friday.

Wet outfield

India was 276 for five in 101.5 overs when lightning forced the players indoors some time after the dinner break, meaning more than a session’s play was wasted due to inclement weather. The lightning was followed by rain, rendering the outfield wet.

The Carrara Oval’s excellent drainage system notwithstanding, play could not resume as the outfield needed more than a few hours to dry, even after the super-sopper was employed by the proactive ground-staff.

The umpires inspected the ground at 8.30 p.m. local time and decided to call off play. More than half of the opening day’s play was washed out on Thursday.

Deepti Sharma was batting on 12 and Taniya Bhatia was yet to open her account as the players walked off the field and covers were brought on.

There will be 108 overs bowled on each of the last two days.

India lost two wickets in the second session, including that of skipper Mithali Raj for 30 and debutant Yastika Bhatia for 19.

Mithali, who was looking good for a big one, was run out after playing a few lovely shots.

Earlier, flamboyant opener Smriti shattered a few records en route to slamming a magnificent Test century as India progressed to 231 for three in the second day’s opening session.

At the dinner break, India was strongly placed, having started the proceedings at 132 for one.

The 25-year-old Smriti became the first Indian woman to hit a century in Day-Night Tests and also the first Indian woman to reach three figures in the game’s traditional format on Australian soil.

Smriti made 127 off 216 balls with 22 fours and a six and added an Indian record of 102 runs in Australia for the second wicket with Punam Raut (36). She had put on 93 with Shafali Verma on the opening day.

She brought up her century with a short-arm pull off Ellysse Perry in the 52nd over.

Reprieve

Smriti, however, wouldn’t have added to her overnight 80. She could have been out in the second over had Perry not overstepped. Also, replays showed that the catch she offered might not have stood scrutiny.

The India opener overcame the early jitters and went about her business in a professional manner while playing some lovely shots, including a magnificent straight drive off Annabel Sutherland.

She looked set for more but was caught at short mid-off off Ashleigh Gardner.

Poonam walked off after a caught behind appeal despite the umpire not entertaining Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning’s loud shouts.

Mithali, though, got into the job straightaway, sweeping and driving Gardner for fours.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 1:15:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/rain-plays-spoilsport-again-after-smriti-mandhanas-magnificent-ton/article36783344.ece

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