Smriti Mandhana put on a batting exhibition in Australia as the Indian Test opener smashed her maiden ton on the second day of the country’s first-ever Pink Ball Test in Queensland.
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 1, 2021
Mandhana began the day on 80, having smashed the ball all around the park on Day 1. The stylish left-hander stroked the ball on her way to a record Test ton, becoming the first Indian woman to reach the landmark figure on Australian soil.
???? for @mandhana_smriti! ???? ????
Maiden Test ton for the #TeamIndia left-hander. ???? ????
What a fantastic knock this has been! ???? ???? #AUSvIND
Follow the match ???? https://t.co/seh1NVa8gu pic.twitter.com/2SSnLRg789
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) October 1, 2021
45.2 Caught off a no-ball ????
51.5 Raises her first ever Test century ????
A momentous and rollercoaster day for Smriti Mandhana ????
???? Watch the match live on https://t.co/CPDKNx77KV in select regions!
???? Match centre | https://t.co/cKISkEvPH4 pic.twitter.com/VYtKzCysnp
— ICC (@ICC) October 1, 2021
The batting masterclass also put India firmly in the driving seat in the one-off Test match. Mandhana’s effort in Queensland can be seen as reaping the rewards of the time she spent playing T20 cricket for the Brisbane Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.
Mandhana did survive an early scare on Day 2 when she lifted the ball to Beth Mooney off an Elyse Perry delivery. However, before the TV umpire could even check Mooney’s catch, replays showed that Perry had overstepped the bowling mark, giving India’s batting backbone a fresh lease of life.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) October 1, 2021
Fantastic knock @mandhana_smriti!
Many congratulations on scoring your first Test hundred.
This was also Mandhana’s first hundred in Test matches, ending a seven-year wait after making her debut against England in 2014. She finally fell to Ashleigh Gardner on 127 runs off 216 balls.
Netizens and cricketers alike took note of Mandhana’s performances, with former India opener Wasim Jaffer hailing her as the “goddess of the offside”, a moniker associated with another legendary left-handed Indian opener — former men’s team captain Sourav Ganguly.
First-ever Indian woman to score ???? in a pink-ball Test! ????
Take a bow, Smriti Mandhana! ????
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 1, 2021
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) October 1, 2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 1, 2021
Cricket analyst and former India opener Aakash Chopra tweeted that he hoped this was the first of many centuries from Mandhana.
The Indian Eves have already played three One Day Internationals in Australia during this tour, losing the series 1-2 but ending the Aussies’ 26-match run unbeaten streak with a win in the final match of the series in what was their highest-ever run chase.