Right after lunch on the fourth and final day, India made history at Wankhede Stadium by defeating Australia by eight wickets to win their first-ever Test match. After destroying Australia’s lower order early on Sunday morning, the hosts needed just 75 runs to win their second Test match in as many weeks, with the tourists slumping to lose 5-28.
Sneh Rana and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, together with pacer Pooja Vastrakar, caused the Australians to be bowled out for 261. At the Wankhede Stadium on Christmas Eve, Sunday, India defeated Australia by eight wickets and achieved a historic first-ever Test victory after successfully chasing 75 runs on the fourth and final day of play.
On the fourth day of the one-off Test match as part of the multi-form series, India stormed to victory 30 minutes following lunch after knocking out Australia for 261 in their second innings in 75 minutes in the morning. After dismissing Australia for 219 on the first day, India amassed 406 in their opening innings, helped by half-centuries from Richa Ghosh (52) and Jemimah Rodrigues (73), Deepti Sharma (78), and Smriti Mandhana (74).
The hosts defeated Australia in their first Test match in India in forty years to win two in a row in a short period. India won their first home match against England last week, defeating them by 347 runs, the largest margin of victory in women’s Test cricket history, at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
They reached 75/2 in 18.4 overs because of a winning shot from Smriti Mandhana, who lofted Jess Jonassen for a boundary. Mandhana was still undefeated at 38 and Jemimah. Rodrigues was not out at 12. India reached the mark in 18.4 overs with Mandhana at 38 and Jemimah Rodrigues at 12.
As the small audience let out loud applause, Rodrigues hugged Mandhana, and captain Harmanpreet Kaur led the other players and staff members into the ground to celebrate winning back-to-back Test matches. Harmanpreeet Kaur’s team gave a fantastic effort, putting forth valiant displays when called upon; similar to Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar’s 122-run partnership in the first innings, which ultimately gave India an 187-run lead.
Shafali Verma was lost by India in the opening over of the chase, which had begun badly when the ballistic batter had earlier hit Kim Garth for a boundary. When Ashleigh Gardner’s delivery spun abruptly and flew off from the rough region, sailing over the middle and leg before going past the keeper for four byes, Richa Ghosh’s heart leapt for joy. A ball later, Beth Mooney knocked down a sitter at first slip off a strong outside edge, giving Richa a life.
Smriti Mandhana scored back-to-back fours against Kim Garth, the first coming from a neat cover drive across the grass and the second from a slap through the covers following a short and wide delivery. However, Shafali hangs her bat out and Garth gets the following ball to keep its line, making it easy for skipper Alyssa Healy to scoop it due to the narrow edge.
As the Indians made it through the testing phase before lunch, Tahlia McGrath misplayed off a drive from Richa Ghosh and raced to the boundary in the seventh over. After lunch, McGrath caught Richa Ghosh out for 13 runs off Gardner, but Mandhana and Rodrigues hit some incredible knocks to send the side home, with Mandhana lofting the ball over the bowler’s head for the winning run.
Before this match, India had lost four and drawn six of the ten Test matches between the women’s teams of the two sides. India took the sixth Australian wicket in the second over of the day, capitalising on the pitch’s tendency to break a little more and the occasional delivery that sprang up from the rough places.
Although the umpire remained unimpressed, India reviewed the judgement and won it because there was no bat engaged and the ball would have struck the leg stump had Vastrakar’s fullish delivery fallen on the batter’s toe. As Vastrakar attempted to flick a delivery, the ball struck the pad, sparing Jess Jonassen from a DRS review. It was signalled not out after pitching on the leg, according to ball-tracking.
After Sutherland failed to drive off a delivery from Renuka Singh that pitched on the middle stump in the following over, Sutherland invoked the DRS to have the decision reversed. Ball-tracking revealed that the leg stump would have been missed. The 22-year-old all-rounder just avoided a second opportunity when Deepti Sharma was first slipped by an edge off Sneh Rana.
The umpire denied India’s plea for caught behind, but they then used the DRS and Ultra Edge revealed that the ball brushed Sutherland’s glove before popping up for a catch that Yastika Bhatia made on the second try, leg-side. When Alana King lunged at a tossed-up delivery that spun onto the pad and then rolled through the gap onto the stumps, one got led to another as the offie had a two-on-two.
Despite Kim Garth surviving the hat-trick ball, Gayakwad’s delivery proved to be too good for the last man, bringing Australia down to nine wickets. Gayakwad produced a fantastic delivery to secure her first wicket of the game. Kim Garth was sent back for four runs (6 balls, 1 four) when the left-arm spinner spun one across the bat’s face to hit the off-stump.
Eventually, Gayakwad produced another outstanding ball to end Australia’s second innings for 261; he spun one that crashed into the stumps, piercing the space between Jonassen’s pad and the bat. The Australian team will take the day off to spend Christmas Day with family members who have travelled to India, and then on Boxing Day, they will begin getting ready for the three-game ODI series.
Brief scores: India vs Australia One-off Test
India 406 & 75/2 (Smriti Mandhana 38*) beat Australia 219 & 261 (Tahlia McGrath 73, Ellyse Perry 45; Sneh Rana 4-63, Harmanpreet Kaur 2-23, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-42) by 8 wickets.