In the first of the three One-Day Internationals at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday, Australia triumphed to a lead of 1-0 thanks to Ellyse Perry and Phoebe Litchfield, who made India’s above-average score of 282 look less dangerous.
With Alyssa Healy out of the game in the opening over of the innings, Litchfield and Perry scored 78 and 75 respectively, while Tahlia McGrath made a crucial unbeaten 68 to help Australia achieve the second-highest run chase in women’s One-Day International history.
India won the toss and elected to face the Australian attack first which pushed Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia to open for their team. The first over went well for both as they both got off the mark and Bhatia got the first boundary of the match for her team which was unfortunately followed by Verma’s quick dismissal in the following over at a length ball by Darcie Brown.
Bhatia and Richa Ghosh released the early pressure well with their magnificent strokes that brought consecutive boundaries but the latter too had to depart much more quickly only in the eighth over by Annabel Sutherland. The Indian innings stumbled a bit early in the match with the top order back into the dug-out which put much pressure on the skipper Harmanpreet Kaur which ultimately cost her wicket in the thirteenth over.
That has been one solid knock from @JemiRodrigues! 👍 👍— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) December 28, 2023
🎥 When the #TeamIndia youngster completed a fine half-century
Follow the Match ▶️ https://t.co/MDbv7Rm75J #INDvAUS | @IDFCFIRSTBank pic.twitter.com/WQLRZiCaEk
Although Bhatia retaliated well even after the three big losses with her classy boundaries and new-down Jemimah Rodrigues tried hard to provide some resistance to the Australian attack and give support to Bhatia, things seemed to close early for India with Bhatia’s dismissal at 49 off 64 in the twentieth over. And it was the Rodrigues-Deepti show after the collapse of the top and middle order that brought some more boundaries for India.
But a good-going Deepti Sharma too lost her momentum and her wicket simultaneously by Ashleigh Gardner’s 26th over which was followed by Alana King’s spell that sent Sharma back into the pavilion. With half of the side sitting again in the dug-out, Rodrigues and Amanjot Kaur got the scorecard moving in harmony with timely singles and doubles, but the latter finally had to depart in the 37th over followed by the former’s fifty in the 38th over.
With Pooja Vastrakar’s arrival in the 39th over, the run-rate looked to get some push by both the batters and the succeeding overs received some fresh strokes of boundaries. And there finally came the dismissal of Rodrigues after a massive and much-needed knock of 82 runs off 77 balls.
But, as Vastrakar was sliding into the breeze like anything, she hit the first maximum of the match into the stands on the fourth ball of the 48th over and a second in the 49th over which was followed by a boundary and a single to sum the Indian total at 282 for the loss of 8.
Australia players did well with both the bat and the ball
As the Australian openers Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry came out to begin the chase, India got its early breakthrough as Renuka Singh struck finely to dismiss Healy way ahead of time on the very third ball of the innings. But Perry looked all set to revamp with a retaliating four and a six in the very second over. Phoebe Litchfield too started contributing with a four in the fourth over followed by the first six of the chase in the 9th over.
Perry looked all set from the pavilion itself as her bat knew no bound against her strokes that brought the fours and the runs on the scoreboard in pure mutual consent as she lifted her bat for her fifty in the 16th over which was contemplated well by three back-to-back boundaries in the 17th over. Perry’s second six in the 22nd over was further followed by Litchfield’s fifty in the same over which pushed the scoreboard to 120 for the loss of just 1.
Although that followed four more boundaries in succession by both the batters until Deepti Sharma finally got the breakthrough in the 26th over as she finally dismissed Perry at 75 it seemed too late for India to bounce back as Australia was around halfway through to the chase. And there came another wicket in the name of Litchfield (78 off 89) as Sneh Rana did the magic with her ball.
After two dismissals in quick succession, Tahlia McGrath and Beth Mooney pulled everything up on their shoulders to near around the target with plentiful back-to-back boundaries that hipped the well-in-time partnership for Australia.
And then there was Vastrakar with another nail in the barely-closed-coffin by dismissing Mooney at 42. But McGrath on the other end was playing it smoothly without any huddle between her and her runs for Australia. And there was the last four from her bat on the third ball of the 47th over that brought the winning runs for Australia.
Brief scores: India vs Australia 1st ODI
India 282/9 in 50 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 82, Pooja Vastrakar 62*, Georgia Wareham 2-55) lost to Australia 285/4 in 46.3 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 78, Ellyse Perry 75, Tahlia McGrath 68*; Renuka Singh 1-30) by six wickets.