Smriti Mandhana struck a typically free-flowing 32 off just 20 in a rain-curtailed game to help India post 77/5 and win against defending champions West Indies by 5 wickets in the ICC Women's World T20 practice game at Antigua on Saturday, November 4.
Mandhana followed her beautiful flair, after some really good bowling performance from the Indian team, where Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav and Arundhati Reddy scalped two wickets each and allowed hosts to only manage 115/8 in the allotted 20 overs, with only skipper Hayley Matthews(41) and Shemaine Campbelle (22) and Natasha McLean (18) standing up with decent cameos.
India now plays England in their second warm-up game at Guyana on Wednesday, November 7, before they kickstart their campaign in 2018's biggest marquee event, against New Zealand on November 9 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
India has never won a Women's World T20, with their best performance being semi-final finish in the 2009 and 2010 events, and this is where the Harmanpreet Kaur led side is aware of the task at hands, and are extremely determined at the same time to turn around things and finally clinch that special trophy.
"Naturally, expectations will be high from our team after our World Cup final appearance last year and we aim to be at our best during the tournament," Harmanpreet had told International Cricket Council (ICC) before leaving the Indian shores.
Placed in Group B, alongside Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan, India will be hoping to go deep into the tournament against world's best.
(Inputs from NDTV)