Mandhana finished with the highest test score of 127
By Sarita Dey
on Fri Oct 01 2021
Smriti Mandhana scored her maiden Test century in the opening session of the second day of the Day-Night Test and finished with the highest Test score by a woman batsman in Australia as India continued to build themselves a strong position.
After Mandhana’s scintillating 127, ending the second wicket stand of 102 with Poonam Raut. India posted 231 for 3 at the dinner interval. With more rain in danger later today, it will be interesting to see if they pick up the pace and announce that the lights are on.
Mandhana resumed on 80. She was given life on the second ball of the day when she bowled a full toss to Ellyse Perry. There Beth Mooney struck a brilliant one-handed dive. But when replays revealed that Perry had overstepped, there was no debate as to whether it was obvious.
After saying last evening that she would not change her game after seeing three points, Mandhana stood her ground. She went with a perfect drive from Annabel Sutherland, perhaps with the shot of her innings in the 90s. And it took just 11 balls to reach her century when she pulled Perry twice for a boundary off three balls.
She continued to take boundaries. Taking his tally to 22 with a best six after three points at mid-off against Georgia Wareham, who was eventually given his first bowl on debut in the 60th over.
Ashleigh Gardner continued to provide Australia with the most control. Her spell in the session reading 11.5 -7-12-1. And she made the breakthrough when Mandhana was lured into driving at short cover.
With Mandhana’s departure, India had two batsmen – Raut and Mithali Raj – whose natural game is a more calm pace. Raut continued along in his own bubble. While Raj played himself as the new ball in what is likely to be his final Test.