Smriti, Harmanpreet shine in India 'A' win

IN A CLASS OF HER OWN Smriti Mandhana's 72 helped India 'A' women beat Australia 'A' in the first T20 in Mumbai on Monday. PTI FILE PHOTO

Smriti Mandhana and experienced Harmanpreet Kaur shone with the bat as India 'A' defeated Australia 'A' by four wickets in the lung-opener of the three-match T20 series here on Monday.

The India women, who basically form the national team that will play the women's World T20, have thus begun their preparations well.

Choosing to bat, Australia 'A' managed to score 160/6 in their allotted 20 overs, with Heather Graham top-scoring with 43 at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex facility.

But Mandhana (72 off 40 balls) and Kaur (45 off 39 balls) made a mockery of the stiff target as they dominated the Aussie bowlers.

India 'A' scored 163/6 to surpass the target with an over to spare.

Left-handed Mandhana showed her class after young Jemimah Rodrigues (4) and wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia (0) fell cheaply.

She found an able partner in Kaur as the two took the side towards victory.

When Kaur fell, India 'A' were 126/4, but all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar remained unbeaten on 21 to take the side home.

Earlier, apart from Graham, Aussie batters Tahila McGrath (31) and Naomi Stalenberg (39) got starts but failed to convert them into big scores.

The Indian bowlers took wickets at regular intervals and never allowed the opposition batters to settle.

For India 'A', Anuja Patil and Deepti Sharma picked two wickets each.

The second game will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Australia 'A': 160/6 in 20 overs (Heather Graham 43, Naomi Stalenberg 39; Anuja Patil 2-22) lt to India 'A': 163/6 (Smriti Mandhana 72, Harmanpreet Kaur 45; Lauren Cheatle 2-18).

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Smriti, Harmanpreet shine in India 'A' win

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