Mandhana: Pleased that I did not throw it away this time

Smriti Mandhana scored a match-winning hundred against New Zealand, overcoming her tendency to be dismissed in the 70s and 80s.

Smriti Mandhana made her fourth hundred in ODI cricket and led India to a crushing win over New Zealand.   -  Getty Images

India opener Smriti Mandhana is pleased that she did not throw away a promising start and went on to score a match-winning hundred in the women’s ODI series-opener against New Zealand here on Thursday.

Mandhana smashed a 104-ball 105-run knock, her fourth ODI hundred, and shared a 190-run stand with fellow opener Jemimah Rodrigues (81 not out) to fashion a nine-wicket win for the visitors.

“I have a thing of getting out in the 70s and 80s, so I had to talk to myself, ‘don’t hit any rash shots, don’t hit any lofted shots, just play in singles and doubles’ I’m really happy with that aspect,” said Mandhana.

“I was able to stick in and guide the team through. Again, if I’d scored three runs I would have been a lot happier,” she said referring to her dismissal when three runs were needed for the win.

New Zealand was bowled out for 192 with spinners Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav taking three wickets apiece.

Mandhana said it was a good batting wicket at McLean Park.

“Initially we just played according to the merit of the ball. We just had to react to the ball, because they had good pacers. The plan was to see how the new ball was doing.

“This was the first time we were batting in New Zealand, and we didn’t really know. We watched a bit of the men’s match and also how the first innings went. So we decided to just keep it simple, play according to the merit of the ball,” she said a day after the men’s team thumped the Black Caps.

The southpaw said her team would have been able to chase down a much bigger target than what New Zealand eventually set.

“The way we were going, I think we would have been able to chase 280-300.”

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