India opener Smriti Mandhana was hit on the head by a Shabnim Ismail bouncer during their ICC Women World Cup 2022 warm-up fixture against South Africa in Rangiora on Sunday. Mandhana did not take the field at the start of South Africa's innings. (More Cricket News)
The incident happened in the early stages of the Indian innings when Mandhana missed a short ball from Ismail completely while trying to pull the delivery and was struck on the head. Mandhana was visibly shaken by the blow but didn’t feel any concussion symptoms according to the medical staff.
The left-hander was assessed by the team doctor following the incident and was originally declared fit to continue. But as a precautionary measure, she left the field retired hurt for 12 before the start of the eight over after another consultation.
Meanwhile, India rode on Yastika Bhatia’s half-century and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 103 to post 244/9 in 50 overs after being sent into bat first by South African captain Sune Luus. Starting slow on a green Rangiora Oval surface, Yastika Bhatia (58 off 78 balls) was measured in her start, before moving into her innings with four boundaries and a six.
Captain Mithali Raj was run out after a mix-up with Bhatia for a duck, though the innings belonged to Harmanpreet Kaur, who raced along with little risk. The right-hander snuck to fifty and held the innings together with the lower order, ticking over to three figures in the latter stages of the innings.
Baring Bhatia and Harmanpreet, no Indian batter could cross the 20-run mark. For South Africa, Ayabonga Khaka was the star with the ball taking three wickets for 23 runs in her seven overs. Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Luss and Chloe Tryon took a wicket apiece.
In reply, South Africa fell short by just two runs despite Luus' 94 and Laura Wolvaardt's 75. Marizaane Kaap also contribute with 31 but couldn't help. For India, Rajeshwari Gaikwad took 4 for 46. India are coming after a 4-1 thrashing against New Zealand in an ODI series. India next play West Indies on March 1.