India opener Smriti Mandhana was in action on Saturday in Worcester against England women in the third ODI of the series. Her knock of 49 helped India chase down the target of 220 in a 47-over rain-truncated game.
But before she came out to bat, it was one of her fielding contribution which helped Indian bowlers restrict the opposition to a lower total than they were seeming to get, and also grabbed the headlines for her athletic effort.
During the 38th over of England’s innings, bowled by off-spinner Deepti Sharma, on the third ball of the over, batter Natalie Sciver skipped down the track and launched Sharma towards the leg side boundary, where Smriti Mandhana was stationed at mid-wicket.
Smriti Mandhana sprinted towards her left and put a dive in a bid to catch the ball – or at least, if not, then stop it from going to the boundary. But, the ball landed into her outstretched hands and she cradled over it; even to her amazement, she pulled out a stunner in the outfield.
Smriti Mandhana then just lay there on the ground – even she couldn’t believe that she had managed this extraordinary catch.
Watch: Smriti Mandhana’s stunning catch
— Akash (@im_akash196) July 3, 2021
Mithali Raj steers India home in a last-over run-chase
Captain Mithali Raj guided the team over the line in a tense last-over run-chase to take a consolation win in the third ODI as the hosts take the series 2-1. Raj, who had received scrutiny for her slow knocks in the previous two ODI, scored 75 off 86 – her third fifty of the series in three games.
After the fall of Smriti Mandhana in the 21st over, the captain staged small partnerships with Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma. However, it was the 50-run stand with all-rounder Sneh Rana, who scored 24 off 22, which put the side on the brink of completing the chase, completed by Raj with a boundary with three balls remaining.
Both the sides square off in the 3-match T20I series starting July 9, Friday.