India batter Smriti Mandhana admitted that she had butterflies in her stomach during her 90s in the Women’s World Cup match against the West Indies. On Saturday, March 12, the southpaw notched her fifth ODI ton as the Women in Blue completed a resounding 155-run win over Stafanie Taylor and Co.
Mandhana scored the ton off 108 balls, but prior to that she had some nervy moments. While on 94, Aaliyah Alleyne dropped her in the deep after which Mandhana survived a bouncer and an LBW appeal. In the second ball of the 40th over, she pulled Hayley Matthews for a four behind square to bring up her ton.
It was also her second World Cup ton, both of which have come against the West Indies. Back in June 2017, Mandhana scored a century in India’s seven-wicket win at Taunton. Mandhana was relieved after she reached the three-figure mark in her innings.
I prayed to two, three gods: Smriti Mandhana on her World Cup knock
“I had a little bit of the nervous nineties today and I was a little nervous about that ball going up in the air and I prayed to two, three gods saying please let the player drop it. And she (Aaliyah Alleyne) put it down so I should thank her actually because otherwise I would have got out on 96,” Mandhana said.
Mandhana went on to score 123 runs off 109 balls with 13 fours and two sixes before Shamilia Connell accounted for her wicket. She also stitched together a 184-run stand with Harmanpreet Kaur for the fourth wicket. Kaur also scored a run-a-ball century and helped India post 317 runs on the board.
Kaur also scored a half-century against New Zealand, but her knock went in vain as the White Ferns secured a 62-run win. The commentary panel adjudged Mandhana as the Player of the Match against the West Indies for top-scoring for her team.
But in the post-match presentation ceremony, Mandhana shared her award with Kaur. The Punjab-born Kaur was going through a rough patch before the mega event, but has well and truly found her rhythm. India’s net run rate also got a massive boost following the thumping win on Saturday.