Pink-ball Test: Smriti Mandhana stars on rain-hit opening day

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana drives one through the off side. Photo: Twitter/ICC

Gold Coast: Smriti Mandhana's career-best 80 not out had elegance written all over it as the Indian women's cricket team reached 132/1 at stumps during a rain-hit first day of the one-off pink-ball Test against Australia here on Thursday.

Mandhana, who peppered the off-side field repeatedly with some gorgeous shots to reach 80 off 144 balls with 15 boundaries, added 93 for the opening stand with Shafali Verma (31 off 64 balls), who played the second fiddle during their partnership.

Most of the second session's play and the entire final session was washed out.

Mandhana pulled Tahlia McGrath for a six over deep square leg and also carted the same bowler over mid-wicket for a boundary.

Giving her company was Punam Raut (16 batting, 57 balls) and they have added 39 runs for the unbroken second wicket stand.

The Australian team's decision to field first after laying a green strip for the visitors did seem to have backfired as Mandhana attacked them straightaway during the first hour of play.

In fact, it was a case of role reversal which perhaps caught the Australians off-guard as Shafali was more intent on playing a defensive game while her senior partner attacked with great gusto.

Debutant Darcie Brown got some special tretment as Mandhana hit her for a number of boundaries both on the off-side as well as a few whip shots on the leg-side.

Ellyse Perry also took a few overs to find the right length.

The elegant Indian left-hander reached her run-a-ball fifty in no time with a cover drive off McGrath.

Whenever Mandhana bisected the point and cover or cover and mid-off, it was the most pleasant sight.

In case of Shafali, she did hit four boundaries but also looked a bit scratchy and offered a couple of chances -- one to Lanning in the slips which was a reflex catch and the other to Annabel Sutherland stationed at mid-on.

Finally she was gone trying to hit left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux against the turn and offered a sitter to McGrath at mid-off.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.