Mandhana guides India women to easy win

Napier: The in-form Smriti Mandhana and teen sensation Jemimah Rodrigues hammered New Zealand’s clueless bowling attack to steer India to an emphatic nine-wicket triumph in the opening ODI of a three-match series here Thursday.

The 22-year-old Mandhana (105) and the 18-year-old Rodrigues (81 not out) put together a batting masterclass after the bowlers did the job for India by bundling out New Zealand for a below-par 192. Competing in their first series after the furore that followed the team’s T20 World Cup exit in the semifinals last year, the Indians produced a thoroughly clinical performance to eke out the comfortable victory in 33 overs.

While Mandhana, fresh from winning the ICC women’s cricketer of the year award, slammed her fourth ODI hundred, Rodrigues notched up her maiden international half century. ‘I think it’s great to start the series with a win and wonderful to see openers get an over 100-run partnership. I think lot of girls do look up to Mandhana. She had a great 2018 and she is continuing and it gives a lot of confidence to the dressing room,’ India captain Mithali Raj said in the post-match presentation.