Indian women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday created a new record en route to a stunning half-century against South Africa Women at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
Mandhana is now the first cricketer-ever (male or female) to play ten consecutive 50+ knocks in ODI chases, a streak that started in March 2018 against Australia Women in Vadodra. Her scores hence read: 67, 52, 86, 53*, 73*, 105, 90*, 63, 74 and 80*.
Overall, Mandhana averages 63.26 in run chases – the second most by a player who has featured in at least 20 ODIs. Australia captain Meg Lanning (67.81) only has a better record than Mandhana.
India Women won the second ODI by 9 wickets
After Mithali Raj won the toss and opted to field, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami picked up four wickets as South Africa Women were bundled out for 157 in 41 overs.
In reply, Mandhana got India off to a flying start. She hit the first two deliveries off Shabnim Ismail for sixes to set the tone.
Despite losing her opening partner Jemimah Rodrigues in the fifth over, Mandhana kept on going for runs.
At number 3, Punam Raut made a slow start, but Mandhana ensured that hosts didn’t come under pressure. The 24-year-old completed her half-century by hitting consecutive fours in the last two deliveries of the 20th over.
Soon, Raut picked up the pace and eventually finished her innings at 62* off 89.
Mandhana then smashed two successive boundaries in the 29th over as India reached the paltry target with nine wickets in hand.