Persistent India Break Australia’s Winning Streak In Another Close Finish


Persistent India Break Australia’s Winning Streak In Another Close Finish

Great batting display by Yastika Bhatia, Shafali Verma at the top and Cameos by Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana at the end handed over India, its first win of the series to break invincible Australia’s 26 ODI game winning streak. In bowling as well, Jhulan Goswami and Pooja Vastrakar picked 3 wickets each to restrict Australia to 264. Australia gave a great fight, but today it was India who hold their nerve to end up on the winning side. With the win now, India got their 2 points in the Series and looked strong ahead of the first D/N test match.

India’s opening pair gave a good opening stand start again. Shafali looked in a good nick today and Smriti too was batting well for 22 off 25 till she was out caught by Sutherland to complete a great catch running back from mid-off on the bowling of Sutherland. India had an opening stand of 59 in 10.3 overs by then. Shafali was playing steadily on 19 when Yastika Bhatia joined on. Yastika who missed out on getting big runs in the first two matches was playing fluently and started scoring straightaway.

Both batters got to their fifth fifties in the 28th over. Sophie Molineux once again managed to get Verma 56 (91) bowled, this time while the batter attempted a big slog sweep to just let the ball through to the stumps. India looked in control with 160/2 in 30 overs. However, Richa Ghosh walked back to the pavilion straightaway without scoring a run as Sutherland took her second wicket of the match.

Yastika Bhatia 64 (69) continued to bat well till she was picked at fine, running in and diving forward an amazing catch by Substitute Molly Strano. Even though Australia bowling leaked 34 extras, fielding surely was a big difference between the two sides. With two new batters, Mithali Raj and Vastrakar the scoring rate started dipping. Vastrakar got out on 3 off 14 while Mithali failed to impress with another slow 16 of 28 balls.

With 10 overs to go, India still needed 62 with 5 wickets in hand. However, after Mithali Raj’s exit, it was all up to Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana to get one last partnership and take India through. Deepti Sharma hit three boundaries with 7 balls as soon as she came on the crease and that gave more hopes for India. In the 47th over Deepti departed trying to accelerate the score when she was on 31(30), with still 24 needed off 22 balls.

In the same over, Sneh Rana scored 4 successive boundaries to McGrath, to get the target in reach with just 10 needed off 3 overs. Soon though S Rana 30 (28) too went for a pull and couldn’t keep it down get out caught off Carey, leaving behind 6 runs to be scored. The Experienced Goswami kept her cool and came down the track to hit a clean shot to the Mid-off boundary and take India to cross the line.

Earlier, Australia after choosing to bat and with early Racheal Haynes back into the side after injury, Haynes – Healy opening duo took Australia’s score to 41 for no loss in the first 8. Just when they started to look dangerous, experienced Jhulan Goswami came back with a brilliant maiden overtaking two in the same over. Haynes 13(28) lofted one to Mid-off while Lanning got out on a duck for the second time thanks to a perfect delivery drawing her out and eventually only getting an edge to Richa behind the stumps.

After two quick wickets, E Perry joined the crease as India tightened the grip with two more back to back maidens by R Gaikwad and J Goswami. P Vastrakar, S Rana and D Sharma kept building on that pressure with good accurate bowling. Healy’s good knock of 35 off 47 came to an end as she got unlucky in the 18th over when Perry smashed a straight drive back to Rajeshwar Gayakwad, which deflected off her hands onto the stumps.

That brought match-winner Mooney to the crease. As India continued to keep the pressure on, they conceded only 46 runs from 10th to 25thover as they reached the halfway mark. In the 25th over, Vastrakar got rewards for her accurate bowling as she got Ellyse Perry 26 (47) caught by Sharma at the backward point.

Beth Mooney once again with the responsibility, was joined by Gardner. Gardner came in started good confident batting right from the word go. The partnership (98) was brilliant and by 30th over they were set up for a good score for Australia. After 30 overs, it looked like the same story for India. Good Start, Good first half and then giving it away.

The fielding unit was very disappointing at this stage, letting the ball pass by, and dropping multiple easy chances. Mooney got two catches dropped. Australian pair at the crease took good advantage of it, as both Gardner and Mooney reached their respective 50s in 40th over. On the very next ball after getting her fifty, Mooney 52 (64) didn’t read the dipping ball from S Rana and got bowled while trying down the track slog sweep.

In came, Tahlia McGrath having a perfect platform set up for her to launch the innings from there on. Finally, it took Mithali Raj to finally hold on to one catch at fine leg on the bowling of P Vastrakar to get rid of A Gardner 67 (62). That helped India to slightly put on some breaks. Australia managed to score 60 runs in 6 over from 41-16. In the 49th over. McGrath got out just 3 runs short of another quick 50 as Vastrakar picked her third wicket of the innings. McGrath was caught by the keeper as she made 47 off just 32 balls.

Jhulan Goswami was exceptional with the ball and conceded only 4 runs in the final over and got Sutherland out of her first ball while getting Carey(1) run out on the penultimate ball. After a slowish start and losing few wickets at the top, the lower middle batting once again stood up for Australia as they managed to reach 264/9 at the end of the innings.

Brief Score: Australia 264/9 in 50 overs (A Gardner 67, Beth Mooney 52, T McGrath 47; Jhulan Goswami 3/37, Pooja Vastrakar, 3/46) lost to India 266/8 in 49.3 overs (Yastika Bhatia 64, Shafali Verma 56; Deepti Sharma 31, Sneh Rana 30, Annabel Sutherland 3/30 by two wickets. POTM: Jhulan Goswami