Smriti Mandhana in action. ©ICC

India A pulled off a thrilling four-wicket win in the first T20 against Australia A at the Bandra Kurla Complex Ground, Mumbai. Heather Graham’s 43 off 30 had powered Australia A to 160 for 6, but Smriti Mandhana’s well-made 72 off 40 helped India A to secure their first T20 win.

Opting to bat first, Australia A made a promising start. Openers Tahlia McGrath and Josephine Dooley added 42 runs in the powerplay before Deepti Sharma took McGrath in the sixth over. Soon Dooley followed her, scoring 16 off 16.

Naomi Stalenberg and Heather Graham tried to resurrect the innings, adding 78 runs for the third-wicket. Before they could move further, Pooja Vastrakar provided the much-needed breakthrough by taking Graham; who scored 43 off 30 with 7 fours. Bowlers did a great job by restricting Australia A within 160 at the end of the 20 overs.

Chasing the target, India A lost their opener, Jemimah Rodrigues and Taniya Bhatia, on consecutive deliveries in the very first over. India A’s charge was led by Smriti Mandhana, who stroked a 40-ball 72 and captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored a 39-ball 45. Both added 115 runs before Mandhana’s dismissal in the 13th over. Soon, Kaur too joined her in the pavilion. Pooja Vastrakar’s breezy 9-ball 21 which included 2 fours and a six guided India A to a comprehensive win with one over to spare.

Both the teams will play their next match on October 24.