India women’s team opening batter Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday became the first Indian player to score a century in the Women’s Big Bash League. The southpaw achieved the feat during a game between the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Renegades at the Harrup Park in Queensland. Mandhana, who plays for the Thunder, stayed unbeaten on 114*, but couldn’t take her team over the line as the Renegades won the game by a narrow margin. After winning the toss, Thunder decided to bowl against the Renegades.
After being put on to bat first, the Renegades got off to a poor start as opener Jemimah Rodrigues and Carly Leeson were dismissed for cheap by Samantha Bates and Issy Wong, reducing the team to 9/2.
However, Evelyn Jones and Harmanpreet Kaur steadied their ship, adding 91 runs for the third wicket before the former was also dismissed by Bates for a 33-ball 42.
Harmanpreet, however, continued her onslaught as she and Jess Duffin took the Renegades to a total of 175/4. Harmanpreet remained unbeaten on 81 off 55 balls while Duffin was run out on the final ball of the Renegades’ innings.
Chasing a total of 176, the Thunder got off to a decent start before opener Sammy Jo-Johnson and Phoebe Litchfield were dismissed in quick succession by Harmanpreet and Rhiann O’Donnell, respectively.
With the Thunder languishing at 46/2, Mandhana starting hammering the Renegades bowlers around the park. She went on to smash an unbeaten 114 off just 64 balls, smashing 14 boundaries and three sixes.
Here’s the video:
A beautiful innings!
— Weber Women’s Big Bash League (@WBBL) November 17, 2021
However, Thunder lost the game by 4 runs, a defeat which also ended their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.
For the records, Mandhana’s knock of 114* is the joint-highest individual score by a batter in a WBBL game. Ashleigh Gardner had also scored 114 for the Sydney Sixers in a game against the Melbourne Stars in 2017.
Renegades, on the other hand, are sitting at the top of the points table with 18 points after 12 games.
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