India has always fumbled some straightforward pursuits. The second women’s T20I was won by them via the Super Over, tying the five-match series at one match each. This wasn’t the case on Sunday, though, when they equaled Australia with the bat.
India vs Australia
Over 47,000 spectators watched Australia lose for the first time across all competitions in front of a nearly full house at DY Patil Stadium. India gave Australia a Super Over aim of 21, but only allowed the visitors to score 16.
Renuka Singh kept the ball long and wide, and Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain, put fielders directly down the middle. The plan was successful because after the Australians scored just six runs off their first four balls, Alyssa Healy smacked a four and a six off the following two balls. But the Australians felt that it wasn’t enough.
When Australia gave India a goal of 188 at the midway point, it seemed like an impossible job for the hosts. But they persisted in their position, tying the game.
A 52-ball 76-run partnership between Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana for the first wicket laid the groundwork for the innings (34, 23b; 4x4s, 1x6s). With her innings of 79 from 49 balls, which included nine fours and four sixes, the left-hander continued the strong performance in the middle overs.
She and skipper Kaur engaged in another fifty-plus alliance (21, 22b; 2x4s, 1x6s). Then, India lost both in the space of six runs, but Richa Ghosh’s thunderous strokes (26*, 13b; 3x6s) and Devika Vaidya’s (11*) two fours in the final over ensured that India won the match and advanced to the Super Over.
Although they had made numerous errors in the field, India had earlier appeared to have the upper hand with the ball by the end of the 12th over. Deepti Sharma granted Beth Mooney a respite after she had only managed to score 22 from 26 balls, leaving Australia at 93/1.
Mooney, though, continued after that. She smashed three fours in the 13th over, bowled by Radha Yadav, and two off the very next over, bowled by Renuka Singh, to open the onslaught. The left-handed batter reached her 15th T20I half-century by finishing 82 not out off 54 balls.
As they amassed a staggering score of 187/1, she and Tahila McGrath put up an unbroken 158-run stand for the second wicket, the greatest partnership for any wicket in T20Is for Australia.
McGrath made the most of her opportunities to keep the scoreboard moving while Mooney took her time to get her eye in, scoring 70 runs off of 51 balls while remaining unbeaten with the help of 10 fours and a six.
With missed opportunities and poor fielding, the Indian fielders failed to uphold the bowlers’ standards. Richa Ghosh, the wicketkeeper, dropped McGrath after being bowled by left-arm medium-pacer Anjali Sarvani while standing up to the stumps.
Sharma defeated McGrath in the air, giving McGrath another life, but Radha Yadav’s hands were unaffected by the aerial shot at the crucial moment.
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