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Mandhana Fails, Kaur Shines in Respective WBBL Openers

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 8, 2018, 7:13 PM IST
Mandhana Fails, Kaur Shines in Respective WBBL Openers

Shortly after the conclusion of India's World T20 campaign, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana headed to Australia to join their respective Women’s Big Bash League sides for the fourth season of the competition. But both players ended up on the losing end of their respective franchises' clash on Saturday.

The hype around Smriti Mandhana was huge after her devastating showing at the Kia Super League in England earlier this year. The southpaw smashed 421 runs at 60.14 from ten league games, taking Western Storm to the final of the competition.

However, on her maiden outing for the Hobart Hurricanes, she was dismissed for naught on just the second ball against Melbourne Stars at Burnie. Her side managed to recover from the early loss of their openers, courtesy of Heather Knight’s unbeaten 82 which took the total to 158 for six at the end of 20 overs. But the Stars, on the back of Erin Osbourne and Mignon du Preez's innings', took their side to the target with a ball to spare.

Mandhana's national counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur is a much admired figure at Sydney Thunder, and she showcased why she is one of the biggest stars in the competition in the Sydney Bash. After a poor spell with the ball, finishing with 0/29 off her three overs, facing the brunt of Sydney Sixers’ captain Ellyse Perry’s bat, Kaur stepped up to the plate during the run-chase and gave her side an outside chance of chasing down 169.

After the top four were dismissed with just 35 on the board, the all-rounder settled down and then took the attack to the bowlers. She hit 45 off 28 balls, a knock lit with four boundaries and three sixes but she was dismissed with 76 runs needed off 35 balls by left-arm pacer Lauren Cheatle. Thunder eventually fell short by 36 runs. But Kaur, who had just arrived a day earlier, showed the damage she could do for her team in the tournament.
First Published: December 8, 2018, 7:02 PM IST

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