The Indian women’s team pocketed two crucial points after their convincing 107-run victory against Sri Lanka women in the first match of three-match ODI series. Currently placed fourth on the ICC Women’s Rankings, the Mithali Raj-led side had an easy outing at Ranchi after the tough, yet productive tour of Australia.
Asked to bat first, the hosts posted a challenging 245/6 and then skittled out Sri Lanka for just 138. Poonam Yadav picked up 4/22 from just 7.2 overs while Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad shared two wickets each to bundle out the visitors in 45.2 overs.
Earlier, Smriti Mandhana carried on her excellent run with the bat. The elegant left-hander struck her third half-century in a row in 71 balls. She added 71 for the first wicket with MD Thirushkamini as India got off to an excellent start. Walking in at No. 3, Mithali too dominated the attack and put on 27 for the second wicket before Mandhana was out in the 27th over. The young opener made 55 from 81 balls and struck eight boundaries.
There was no respite for the visitors as Mithali and Harmanpreet Kaur, known for her big-hitting, got into the act and soon added fifty runs for the third wicket. With just one run short of her half-century, Mithali was caught by Shashikala Siriwardena, but Harmanpreet made sure she reached the milestone in only 60 balls. Some lusty blows in the slog overs by Jhulan Goswami (20 off 10) and Shikha Pandey (21 off 14) took India close to the 250-run mark. Veda Krishnamurthy remained unbeaten on 12 from eight balls.
The second ODI will be played on Wednesday.
Brief scores: India women 245/ 6 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 55, Harmanpreet Kaur 50, Mithali Raj 49; Shashikala Siriwardene 2 for 31, Udeshika Prabodhani 2/38,) beat Sri Lanka women (Prasadani Weerakkodi 69; Poonam Yadav 4/22, Deepti Sharma 2/20, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/31) by 107 runs