IND-W vs AUS-W: Smriti Mandhana brushes aside ‘foul play’ after last-ball no ball controversy, says ‘Haven’t seen replays’

After stumbling to a five-wicket loss to Australia in the second ODI of the three-match series, India opener Smriti Mandhana on Friday said she would not like to comment on the no-ball controversy in the last over because she had not seen the replays.

Beth Mooney and Nicola Carey played unbeaten knocks of 125 and 39 respectively as Australia registered a win. On the final ball of the game, Jhulan Goswami had Carey dismissed, but the ball was adjudged as no-ball as it was over the waist as per the third umpire. And in the end, the hosts went on to register a win. With this victory, Australia extended their unbeaten run to 26 matches in ODI cricket. “We have not really seen the ball yet as a team. We were out there on the field, so it is very hard to judge if it was a waist-high no-ball or it was not. It is too early for us to call, we have to see the ball and we will have a look at it. When these things go in your favour, you are really happy but I would not add up to the controversy. I have seriously not looked at the ball yet,” said Mandhana during a virtual post-match press conference.

“Yeah, definitely, there is scope for improvement in all the departments. Batting, bowling, and fielding. Fielding, I thought we were good in patches, but definitely, we can work a lot on our fielding. We have been working hard for the last three years, it is a process. In today’s game, fielding could have been a little better. Dropped catches always hurt and Beth Mooney’s catch did hurt a bit,” said Mandhana while replying to an ANI query about India’s fielding effort in the second ODI.

Earlier, Buoyed by Smriti Mandhana’s 94-ball 86 and a quickfire 28 by Jhulan Goswami, India managed to score a challenging 274/7 in their 50 overs against Australia. Mandhana showed class at the top as she looked all set to reach the three-figure mark. While the opener fell short by 14 runs, a 50-ball 44 by Richa Ghosh and a late flourish from Jhulan and Pooja Vastrakar (29 off 37 balls) helped India reach a defendable total.

“The pacers were really really good. It was a perfect game for us until the 38th over of Australia’s innings. I would have loved to be there until the 50th over, maybe would have added few runs more. But I was timing the ball really well. Definitely, Richa Ghosh has shown her power-hitting and today she showed how she can craft an innings. It is a positive thing for us that she can bat in any situation,” she said.

“When dew comes in, our spinners look different, it is very hard to grip the ball. But that cannot be the excuse. As I said, these are all things which we have practiced, we knew there will be dew. The dew was a big factor,” she added.

When asked about her own batting form, Mandhana said: “I thought about where I need to improve, the support staff and everyone were behind me. So happy to get some runs under my belt, especially in the first innings but definitely, getting out on 86 did hurt. I would have felt better if I continued on.”