India in early command in pink-ball Test against Australia


India opener Smriti Mandhana has led the way early for the tourists against Australia at Metricon Stadium.

A majestic knock from opener Smriti Mandhana has given India the early advantage in their one-off women’s pink-ball, day-night Test against Australia at Metricon Stadium.

Asked to bat first after Australia’s captain Meg Lanning won the toss, India defied a green-tinged pitch to go on an early rampage in the first Test match between the teams in 15 years.

At drinks in the first session, the tourists were 0-70 off 15 overs, with Mandanha unbeaten on 51 from 52 in an innings that included 11 fours.

However some tight Australian bowling after drinks slowed the progress of both Mandanha and India, who ended the first session at 1-101, with the opener not out on 64 from 112 balls.

The Australians didn’t help their cause by failing to grasp three chances offered by Mandanha’s opening partner Shafali Verma.

Two were sharp opportunities that Lanning at first slip couldn’t grasp, but the third was a sitter put down by Annabel Sutherland at mid-on.

Verma was eventually dismissed for 31 in the 26th over, caught at deep mid-off by Tahlia McGrath off the bowling of left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux.

All-rounder Sutherland was one of four Test debutantes in Australia’s team, with fellow teenagers Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell, and leg-spinner Georgia Wareham also donning the baggy green cap for the first time.

Brown, 18, was given the new ball with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry but failed to fire, being hit for 28 runs in her first four-over spell.

Leading a depleted attack missing key pair Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen, Perry was economical if not threatening in a seven-over opening spell that cost 24 runs.

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