Smriti Mandhana’s unbeaten knock of 71 from 52 balls helped Indian women’s cricket team register a 27-run victory over Ireland in the Women’s World T20 warm-up match at Bangalore on Thursday. After scoring 145/4, India restricted Ireland to 118/9 to Niranjana and Shikha taking two wickets each.
After winning the toss, Indian skipper Mithali Raj opted to bat first on batting-friendly track at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. But, the team got off to a poor start with both openers back in the pavilion inside the first three overs. Vellaswamy Vanitha was the first to fall for two after she edged one from Kim Garth into the gloves of Mary Waldron. Skipper Mithali Raj followed her opening partner back to the dressing in the same over with Garth and Waldron once again combing for the wicket.
With the team struggling at 16/2, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur joined hands to form a 72-run partnership for the third wicket to steady the Indian innings. Although Kaur fell for a well-made 24 off 31 balls in the 14th over, Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy took the team to a challenging total of 145 with a 46-run partnership. Mandhana top scored for the side with 71 runs off 52 balls, while
Chasing 146, Ireland got off to a similar start as their rivals, losing two wickets in the first four overs. Openers Clare Shillington and Cecelia Joyce were both removed by medium pace bowler Shikha Pandey to leave the Irish struggling at 29/2 in four overs. Gaby Lewis also followed them to the dressing room shortly
But a throw from Niranjana Nagarajan ended the partnership with Dalton returning to the pavilion after a well-made 37 off 31 balls. With one end open, Indian bowlers ran through the lower middle-order in a hurry to leave Ireland at 118/9 at the end of 20 overs to register a 27-run victory. Indian women’s team will next take on Sri Lanka in the second warm-up game on Saturday.