Mithali hits century to help India A women clinch series

Vastavam web: Riding on Mithali Raj’s record-setting, unbeaten hundred, India A defeated their Australian counterparts by 28 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 series on Wednesday. The victory meant that the third and final match, also to be played at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla facility will be of academic interest only. Veteran Mithali, who opened the innings along with Smriti Mandhana, was the cynosure of eyes as she tormented the Aussie bowlers in her whirlwind 105-run unbeaten knock which came off just 61 balls.

Mithali’s knock ensured that the hosts piled up a massive 184 for 5 in their alloted 20 overs. And later the Indian bowlers restricted the visitors to 156 for 9, ensuring the team’s win. Smriti (1), Jemimah Rodrigues (5), D Hemalatha (2) and Anuja Patil (0) fell cheaply, but that did not deter Mithali, who struck 18 boundaries and a six in her entertaining innings. Mithali, one of the best batters in women’s cricket in the world, stamped her class and also tuned up well for the World T20, which commences in the Caribbean next month. The Aussies were never in the hunt in the chase as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Opener Tahila McGrath (47) showed some resistance but without support of partners as the Indian bowlers ticked all the boxes.