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Smriti Mandhana encourages Richa Ghosh to “finish it” during India’s match against Australia


Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur celebrate their win in the second women’s Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Australia at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai on December 11, 2022.

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur celebrate their win in the second women’s Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Australia at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai on December 11, 2022.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Even in her wildest of dreams, Smriti Mandhana did not imagine that she would have to walk out to bat for a second time in front of more than 45,000 delirious fans. On her second outing at the batting beauty of a wicket at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on Sunday night, she needed to face only three balls, off which she scored four, six and three.

That helped India score 20 for one in the Super Over. It would prove enough to make Australia taste its first defeat, in any format, for over a year.

Earlier, Smriti had made a magnificent 49-ball 79, which was full of her characteristically elegant shots, to lead India’s chase of a huge total. A rash shot had ended her innings when she was well poised to take India home, but the 19-year-old Richa Ghosh ensured her senior partner’s effort was not in vain.

“I don’t know actually what kind of a shot I played,” Smriti said, smiling. “But it was an amazing match.”

A match, she said, would give confidence to those who would be investing for the Women’s IPL, the inaugural edition of which is expected to kick off next March. “When people see these kinds of matches with that sort of crowd, it is definitely going to be amazing for women’s cricket,” she said. “The BCCI is doing everything that it can to do for women’s cricket. This huge (turnout) will give a lot of confidence to the organisers and to the people who will come on board for the league.”

Smriti said she was determined to make use of batting on an excellent track. “I was very disappointed with my batting in the first match, as the Mumbai wickets are generally very good to bat on and to get out on these types of wickets are really disappointing,” she said. “It is as if you are taking a chance away from yourself. We don’t get as many good wickets or quick outfields.”

As for the chase, she said she wanted to take it deep and trusted the people around her to hit sixes. “When I got out, I told Richa, Khatam karke aana hai (You have to finish it), the ways she said, Haan Didi (Yes, sister), I felt she was going to do something special,” Smriti said. “And what shots she hit! I would have loved to be at the other end. Maybe next time I will try not to get out with a stupid shot.”



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