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Smriti Mandhana takes a blow on head during warmup game against South Africa

Indian star batter Smriti Mandhana suffered a blow on the head of the bowling of South African pacer Shabnam Ismail in a 2022 Women’s World Cup warm-up match played at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora on February 27. The contest was won by India by a bare margin of two runs.

Mandhana after coping a blow on head was attended by the team doctor and was declared fit. However, the 25-year old batter left the field an over and a half later after another consultation. Although there were no concussion symptoms, the left-handed batter was shaken by the blow. According to the medical team, the batter left the ground as a precaution.

Back to the match, South Africa captain Sune Luus after winning the toss invited India to bat first. However, India did not have a good start after losing skippers Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma during the first ten over field restrictions. With the help of senior batter, Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored 103 runs off 114 balls and Yastika Bhatia’s 58, India managed to reach a score of 244 runs in their allotted 50 overs, losing nine wickets in the process.

For South Africa, pacer Ayabonga Khaka was the most successful bowler as she took three wickets in seven overs, giving away only 23 runs. Other bowlers including Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Luus and Chloe Tryon took one wicket each. In reply, opener Laura Wolvaardt, who scored 75 off 92 balls and skipper Sune Luus, who scored, 94 runs in 101 balls were the main contributors from the South Africa side.

Indian left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets in her 10 over quota. Among other bowlers, Meghna Singh, Sneh Rana and Poonam Yadav scalped one wicket each. Team India will be taking on their arch-rivals Pakistan in their tournament opener, to be played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on March 6 (Sunday).

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