Mansi Joshi was the pick of the bowlers for the Indian women’s cricket team as they registered a thumping nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Galle on Tuesday. The medium-pacer finished with 3-16 as India dismissed the hosts for just 98 in 35.1 overs. The visitors got the required runs in just 19.5 overs without breaking a sweat.
Smriti Mandhana, who returned to national duty post an incredible season with the Western Storm in the Kia Super League, scored the bulk of the runs en route to a half-century. Her innings consisted of 11 fours and two sixes. Poonam Raut chipped in with a patient knock of 24 before she was dismissed towards the end of the innings. Mithali Raj came in and faced two balls but didn’t need to score a run as Mandhana got the winning runs with a boundary on the penultimate ball of the 20th over.
Earlier, Sri Lanka’s first wicket fell in the 5th over when Joshi got Prasadani Weerakkody caught behind. From that point on, wickets fell on a regular basis, denying the hosts a chance to build a partnership. Jhulan Goswami also chipped in with two wickets while Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Dayalan Hemalatha all took a wicket apiece as Sri Lanka fell apart with alarming ease.
The only glimmer of resistance came from Sripalli Weerakkody and skipper Chamari Atapattu. The two put together a stand for the seventh wicket that lasted 9.5 overs. But while the partnership did stem the free fall of wickets, it only added 29 runs and the remaining wickets were duly taken in the next few overs.