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Mandhana Unbeaten on 80 as Rain Disrupts Play on Day 1 vs Australia

There were 6 debutants in all on both teams in the Pink Ball Test.

Updated
Cricket
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Smriti Mandhana in action during the Pink Ball Test against Australia,</p></div>
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Smriti Mandhana remained unbeaten on 80 as India got off to a superb start against Australia in the Pink Ball Test at the Matricon Stadium on Thursday. India lost only one wicket on the opening day of the Test which was severely disrupted by rain.

At stumps, India were 132/1 after 44.1 overs with Punam Raut not out on 16 with Mandhana.

Put in to bat after Australia captain Meg Lanning won the toss, Mandhana raced to her half-century off 51 deliveries in the opening hour and despite slowing after the drinks break was unbeaten on 64 in the first session.

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Shafali Verma was the lone Indian batsman to get out, caught by Thalia McGrath for 31.

Australia named four debutants for the match in Annabel Sutherland, Darcie Brown, Georgia Wareham and Stella Campbell.

Darcie and Annabel had nervy starts to their Test careers, the former going for 0-28 off her four overs while 19-year-old Annabel had a couple of fumbles in the field including dropping Shafali when the Indian opener was on 25.

Annabel's spill was the third time Shafali rode her luck in her knock, with edges earlier in her innings twice eluding Lanning at first slip as Australia pressed for a wicket.

India were 0-70 at drinks with Smriti the main aggressor, hitting 11 fours on her way to her third Test 50.

After the drinks break, Australia turned to spin to stem the runs with Sophie Molineux and Ashleigh Gardner operating in tandem.

Sophie eventually got the breakthrough for Australia, luring Shafali to chance her arm once too often with the Indian opener slicing a shot to Tahlia at mid-off to fall for 31.

After the dinner break, it was stop start for both teams due to the rain, and Mandhana and Raut ensured India would not lose another wicket.

The left-hander looked solid. She was unfazed by the entire Aussie team on the off-side and did put away the bad ball. Raut, on the other hand, showed good technique with her defence and choice of shots.

Australia did manage to pull the run rate back but after the first rain break, both the batters got some freebies and India added to their tally.

India have selected two debutantes in Yastika Bhatia and Meghna Singh, with the Test the fourth match of the multi-format series.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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