India eves were dealt a big blow on the eve of their first one-dayer against South Africa when star batswoman Smriti Mandhana was ruled out of the ODI series with an injury, as per reports. Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to confirm the development, it was learnt that Mandhana picked up a knock on her toe during practice a couple of days ago. India will clash with the South Africa women in the three-match ODI series beginning here on Wednesday.
Mandhana was part of the Indian team that beat South Africa 3-1 in the recently-concluded T20I series. The hosts had sealed the series even before the last match, which they lost by 105 runs.
Chasing a target of 176, India collapsed to a measly 70, although they looked to be set for a much smaller target when they were 13/6 in the seventh over. Veda Krishnamurthy and Arunadhati Reddy took them past the 50-run mark.
Nadine de Klerk took three wickets, including that of Smriti Mandhana, who struggled to score runs in this series.
Fifteen-year-old opener Shafali Verma was the first wicket to fall in the third over to Shabnim Ismail. Ismail then got the wicket of Jemimah Rodrigues off the very next ball but couldn’t complete her hat-trick.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who was playing her 100th T20I, was the next wicket to fall after which Mandhana fell in the sixth over. De Klerk would then snuff out Deepti Sharma in the same over and Taniya Bhatia fell a few balls later as the hosts found themselves at 13/6 in seven overs.
Krishnamurthy and Arundhati then stuck on till the 14th over to take India’s total to 62 before the former was hit on the pads off Anne Bosch. It looked like there might have been an inside edge but the umpire raised the finger to signal the end of the partnership.
Arundhati fell two overs later to de Klerk and the Indians later folded in the 18th over with Nondumiso Shangase taking two wickets in the only over that she bowled in the day.