India was ultimately placed under pressure in the Test against Australia after controlling it for almost two days, mainly thanks to Tahlia McGrath’s second fifty in the match and strong efforts from Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy. At the end of the third day in Mumbai, India was only ahead of the pack, but Harmanpreet Kaur used her skill with the ball to take two wickets late in the day.
With one day remaining, Australia reached 233 for 5, totalling 46 for 5, in their second innings by the time stumps were called. Ashleigh Gardner, on seven, and Annabel Sutherland, undefeated at twelve, were at the crease.
After starting the day on 376 for 7, India put 30 more runs on top of their overnight total to take their lead to 187 against Australia before being bowled out thirty-five minutes later. Pooja Vastrakar started the day with three fours, but she was three short of a maiden. Test fifty to Australia’s short-ball strategy, with Kim Garth caught halfway in from the rope at deep square leg.
After that, Garth deftly handled Deepti Sharma’s bat and pad to end her innings at 78, and Sutherland completed the innings with a short ball that Renuka Singh was only able to gully. In their match against Australia, India did, however, record their highest Test score. Beth Mooney ended the second jab with a nice assertion. After launching two spectacular fours off Vastrakar, she smashed Renuka into the covers and appeared mostly unfazed.
Caught behind! 👏 👏— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) December 23, 2023
A fine catch from @YastikaBhatia as @SnehRana15 strikes! 🙌 🙌
A big breakthrough for #TeamIndia! 👍 👍
Australia lose their 3rd wicket as Ellyse Perry gets out.
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Mooney foolishly whacked a full delivery from Sneh Rana to Richa Ghosh. Perhaps believing she had been caught off guard, Mooney then walked out of her crease with her back to the fielder. Seeing her chance, Ghosh struck straight at the stumps, finding Mooney well short of her crease.
Then, after misjudging the length of the ball after a planned reverse sweep attempt, Phoebe Litchfield was outscored by Rana for eighteen. After a few nervous moments, McGrath and Perry made it to 63 for 2 at lunch, but they were still down by 124 runs.
Perry and McGrath shared an 84-run partnership after hanging around for 173 balls before Perry fell practically against the run of play. Keeper Yastika Bhatia smartly held Perry’s excellent tickle after Rana got a length ball to settle on the middle and leg. Australia had an almost flawless session, scoring 93 runs in 33 overs, with that being the lone fault.
Healy proved to be McGrath’s ally, and the pair stood tall for 175 balls, scoring 66 runs for the fourth wicket. Healy moderated her aggression to keep the Indian bowlers at bay as McGrath completed her second fifty of the Test, this time off 119 balls. After tea, there were 13.3 overs without a boundary being hit.
After that, McGrath broke free by hitting Renuka for three straight fours, giving Australia the lead as well. In the 72nd over, Harmanpreet entered the attack after none of the primary bowlers had been able to muster much damage. At that point, things started to happen.
𝗔𝗯𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗦𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀! ⚡️ ⚡️— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) December 23, 2023
Talk about captain leading from the front & in some style! 👏 👏
Relive that wicket from @ImHarmanpreet 🎥 🔽
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Her first ball nearly struck, but McGrath was saved by DRS, as the tracker verified the ball was sliding down her leg. But four balls later, she would fall for 73 after inside-edging a full delivery back onto her leg stump.
Harmanpreet struck again, dismissing Healy for an LBW to a sweep for 32, with the batter squandering a review in the process. India had failed to contest a decision against Sutherland. After Harmanpreet fielded the ball off her bowling, she attempted a direct hit at the striker’s end.
However, Healy was well within her crease and hindered the throw with her bat, which led to four overthrows. This conflict occurred on the previous delivery. Harmanpreet had the last laugh as words were exchanged and India’s unsuccessful appeal for blocking the pitch was acknowledged. After that, Sutherland and Gardner only added 12 more to ensure there was no more damage after they had withstood 62 balls.
Brief scores: India vs Australia Only Test Day 3
Australia 219 & 233/5 (Tahlia McGrath 73, Ellyse Perry 45; Harmanpreet Kaur 2-23, Sneh Rana 2-54) lead India 406 (Deepti Sharma 78, Smriti Mandhana 74; Ashleigh Gardner 4-100, Annabel Sutherland 2-41) by 46 runs.