Smriti Mandhana’s career-best 80 had elegance written all over it as India reached 132/1 on a rain-hit stop-start first day of the one-off Day/Night Test against Australia in Gold Coast, Queensland on Thursday.

Mandhana, who peppered the off-side field repeatedly with some gorgeous shots to reach 80 off 144 balls with 15 boundaries, added 93 for the opening stand with Shafali Verma (31 off 64 balls), who played the second fiddle during their partnership.

Australia vs India, D/N Test, day one as it happened: Rain forces early end after Mandhana special

After the first weather delay, most of the second session’s play was washed out but Mandhana added another 16 runs to surpass her previous best of 78. She pulled Tahlia McGrath for a six over deep square leg and also carted the same bowler over mid-wicket for a boundary. An early tea was taken but play didn’t resume.

Giving Mandhana company is Punam Raut (16 batting, 57 balls) and the pair added 39 runs for the unbroken second wicket stand.

On the evidence of the play we saw, the Australian team’s decision to field first after laying a green strip for the visitors did seem to have backfired as Mandhana attacked them straightaway during the first hour of play. While there was some initial movement in the air, there wasn’t much aid for Aussie seamers off the pitch. The lengths were shorter than ideal too and it helped the Indian openers.

For the opening partnership, it was a case of role reversal which perhaps caught the Australians off-guard as Shafali was more intent on playing a patient game while her senior partner attacked with great gusto. Mandhana had hit eight fours by the time the youngster hit her first.

Debutant Darcie Brown got a tough treatment as Mandhana hit her for a number of boundaries both on the off-side as well as a few whip shots on the leg-side, including four in one over. Ellyse Perry also took a few overs to find the right length. The elegant Indian left-hander reached her run-a-ball fifty in no time with a cover drive of McGrath. Whenever Mandhana bisected between point and cover or cover or mid-off, it was a delight to watch.

In case of Shafali, she did hit four boundaries but also looked a bit scratchy and offered a couple of chances – one to Meg Lanning in the slips which was a reflex catch and the other to Annabel Sutherland stationed at mid-on. Finally she was gone trying to hit left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux against the turn and offered a sitter to McGrath at mid-off.

An early start at 9.30 am IST has been scheduled for the remaining three days.

Brief scores: India 1st Innings 132/1 in 44.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 80 batting, Shafali Verma 31; Sophie Molineux 1/18) vs Australia.

(With PTI inputs)