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GOLD COAST: Smriti Mandhar’s career-best 80-run knock was the highlight of the night Test against Australia here.
Mandhana repeatedly added 93 for the opening stand with Shafali Verma (31 off 64 balls) on the off-side field to reach 80 off 15 boundaries off 144 balls, who played the second fiddle in their pairing.
Most of the game in the second session was washed out but Mandhana added 16 more runs, surpassing his previous best of 78.
He pulled Tahlia McGrath to hit a six in the deep square leg and blocked the same bowler for a mid-wicket boundary.
He is accompanied by Poonam Raut (1 bat, 5 balls) and they added 39 runs for the unbroken second wicket.
After laying the green strip for the spectators, the decision of the Australian team to take the field first seemed to be that Mandhana attacked them directly in the first hour of the game.
In fact, it was a role-shifting event that probably caught the Australians off-guard as Shafali was more willing to play a defensive game when his senior partner attacked too hard.
Abhishek Darcy Brown received some special punishment as Mandhana hit him several boundaries to whip him off-side and leg-side.
Alice Perio took a few overs to find the right length. Elegant Indian left-arm batsman McGrath reached his run-a-ball fifty with a cover drive.
Whenever Mandhana was split between point and cover or cover or mid-off, it was the most picturesque scene.
In the case of Shafali, he hit four boundaries but looked a bit shaky and gave a few chances একটি one to Meg Lanning on a slip which was a reflex catch and the other to mid-on Enable Sutherland.
Eventually he left, trying to counter-attack left-arm spinner Sophie Molinex and offering McGrath a sitter during mid-off.
Short Score: India first innings 132/1 44.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 80 batting, Shafali Verma 31; Sophie Molinex 1/18) vs Australia.

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