Punam Raut’s dismissal was a talking point when she walked despite the umpire saying not out
Dinner India 231 for 3 (Raj 15*, Yastika 2*, Mandhana 127) vs Australia
Smriti Mandhana reached her maiden Test century in the opening session of the second day of the day-night Test and finished with the highest Test score by a female batter in Australia as India continued to forge themselves a strong position.
After Mandhana departed for a magnificently-constructed 127, ending a second-wicket stand of 102 with Punam Raut, India progressed carefully to the dinner interval on 231 for 3. With the threat of more rain later today it will be interesting to see whether they look to increase the tempo and declare as the lights take hold.
Mandhana, who resumed on 80, was given a life off her second ball of the day when she drove a full toss from Ellyse Perry to point where Beth Mooney took what appeared to be a fantastic one-handed catch diving to. But any debate over whether it was clean was rendered moot when replays showed Perry had overstepped.
Having said the previous evening that she would not change her game in sight of three figures, Mandhana was true to her word. She moved into the 90s with arguably the shot of her innings, a perfect straight drive off Annabel Sutherland, and it took her just another 11 balls to reach the century when she twice pulled Perry for boundaries in the space of three deliveries.
She continued to pick off boundaries, taking her tally to 22 alongside a six, the best of the ones after three figures being a drive wide of mid-off against Georgia Wareham who was finally given her first bowl on debut in the 60th over.
Ashleigh Gardner continued to offer Australia the most control – her spell in the session reading 11.5 -7-12-1 – and she made the breakthrough when Mandhana was lured into driving to short cover.
With Mandhana departed, India had two batters together – Raut and Mithali Raj – whose natural game is a more sedate tempo. Raut continued along in her own bubble while Raj, in what is likely to be her final Test, played herself in as the new ball loomed.
Australia’s second wicket of the session came in curious and debate-provoking fashion when Sophie Molineux produced an excellent delivery which griped and spun past Raut’s edge, bringing an appeal from Alyssa Healy. The umpire, Phillip Gillespie, said not out but Raut gave herself and walked off. With no DRS available for the series, she would have survived if she had stood her ground.
Australia had used eight bowling options and Sutherland’s performance with the old ball was the best that any of the seamers had produced in the game although when handed the first chance with the new pink ball a wayward over cost 11.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo