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Smriti Mandhana becomes ICC world No. 1 batter

ODI captain Mithali Raj takes No. 5 slot as two Indians form top five
NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 24: Smriti Mandhana of India celebrates scoring 100 runs during game one of the One Day International Series between New Zealand White Ferns and India at McLean Park on January 24, 2019 in Napier, New Zealand. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

Smriti Mandhana has become the No.1-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Rankings for Women’s batters after scoring her fourth ODI century and an unbeaten 90 in the three-match series in New Zealand.

Mandhana moved up three spots in the batters’ rankings to reach the top spot. She sits above the Australians Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, at No.2 and 3 respectively, and the high-flying Amy Satterthwaite, the New Zealand captain who flew up 10 places to No.4.

Mithali Raj, who moved down a spot, completed the top five.

It was fine recognition for Mandhana, who has been in exemplary form in the one-day format. In the 15 ODIs she has played since the beginning of 2018, she has scored two centuries and eight half-centuries.

Satterthwaite was another one to catch the eye. Her jump of 10 places to No.4 in the batters’ rankings is propelled by consecutive half-centuries in the series against India, and four in all in her last 10 ODIs.

Fellow New Zealander Suzie Bates, whose half-century in Hamilton propelled New Zealand to victory in the third ODI, rose up one place to No.6.

Jemimah Rodrigues was another Indian to have a good day at the rankings. She has played just seven ODIs since making her debut in March last year, but a half-century in the first ODI in Napier helped propel a massive rise of 64 places for the 18-year-old. She now sits at No.61 in the rankings.

Among the bowlers, there was less activity in the rankings, but there was good news for India’s spin trio of Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht.

Both Yadav and Sharma jumped five places each and now sit at No.8 and 9 respectively. Yadav took six wickets in the series to Sharma’s four, while Bisht jumped up nine places to No.13 after claiming five wickets in the series.

Jhulan Goswami, whose 3/23 in the second ODI set up the series win, rose one place to No.4 and is the highest-ranked Indian in the top five, with Pakistan’s Sana Mir, Australia’s Megan Schutt and South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp above her.

There was good news for the New Zealanders too. Lea Tahuhu, the pacer, claimed four wickets in the series, and jumped nine places to No.16 in the rankings. Anna Peterson, who claimed five wickets in the three matches, had a stellar rise of 13 places and is No.45 in the rankings.

There was largely no change among the all-rounders. Perry is still at the top of the all-rounders’ charts, and apart from Sophie Devine, who moved up one place to No.9, and thereby pushed down Deandra Dottin to No.10, there was no change in the top 10.


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Smriti's century guides India to big win

India Women beat hosts New Zealand by 9 wickets to take 1-0 lead

A dominant India Women cruised home to a crushing nine-wicket win over New Zealand Women in the first match of the three-match ODI series played at McLean Park, Napier. In a repeat of Indian men’s dominating show the previous day, the women’s team led by Mithali Raj put in a clinical display.

After the hosts were shot out for 192, India openers Smriti Mandhana (105) and Jemimah Rodrigues (81 not out) made like work of the chase. The two were in excellent touch as they first raised a fifty-run stand in just 52 balls.

Smriti, who was recently named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, started the show on a terrific note as she brought up her half-century in 43 balls with the help of six boundaries and one six.

The two continued to put pressure on the White Ferns’ bowlers’ as they were unstoppable, bringing up the 100-run partnership in just 105 balls. 19-year-old Jemimah then brought up her maiden ODI fifty in 61 balls. Runs came in thick and fast as even the 150-run total was breached.

Smriti became the first Indian woman to score an ODI century in New Zealand off only 101 balls with eight balls and three sixes.

Earlier, the home team got off to a flying start and looked set for a big total when Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine came out with an attacking approach. India desperately looked for an opening and none came in the first 10 overs. A run-out by Deepti Sharma resulted in Devine’s dismissal and India then capitalized on the opening. Ekta Bisht (3/32) and Poonam Yadav (3/42) then struck in quick succession with Deepti Sharma picking two wickets.

The second one-day will be played in played in Mount Maunganui on January 29.

Brief scores: New Zealand 192 in 48.4 overs (Suzie Bates 36, Amy Satterthwaite 31; Ekta Bisht 3-32, Poonam Yadav 3-42) lost to India 193/1 in 33 overs (Smriti Mandhana 105, Jemimah Rodrigues 81*; Amelia Kerr 1-33) by 9 wickets. 


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