The Indian women’s cricket team scripted history on Friday by clinching its maiden Twenty20 series win over three-time world champion Australia with a comprehensive 10-wicket triumph in the rain-truncated second game at Melbourne.
With Friday’s win, the Indians thus established a 2-0 lead in the three-match series which will wind up on January 31 in Sydney.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, the Indians had their more fancied rivals on the mat in overcast conditions. India restricted Australia to 125 in the match which was reduced to 18-overs-a-side following rain interruption.
In reply, the Indian eves came out all guns blazing and were crucising along nicely before another round of showers forced a revision of target to 66 in 10 overs.
Skipper Mithali Raj (37 not out) struck the winning runs as India overhauled the target in 9.1 overs.
In a throughly dominating performance from strat to finish, India cornered Australia early on by reducing them to 33 for three in just the fifth overs of the match.
It took a 70-run fourth-wicket stand between Aussie skipper Meg lanning (49) and Jess Jonassen (27) to steady the rocking boat. Lanning’s innings was crucial in propelling Australia to 103 for three in the 14th over before disaster struck yet again.
Once Lanning was run out by Harmanpreet Kaur, the wickets also tumbled in a heap.
To their credit, Indian bowlers, especially, senior pacer and player of the match Jhulan Goswami (2/16) and leg-spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/27) ensured that the hosts’ remained shackled in their scoring rate.
In reply, the Indian batters seemed in a hurry to wrap up the proceedings and raced to 52 for now loss in 7.5 overs before the heavens opened yet again.
Another round of recalculation followed and the target stood revised at 66 from 10 overs.
On resumption, Raj, who smacked half a dozen fours in her 32-ball knock, and Smriti Mandhana (22 not out) took no time in sealing the issue to give the team a historic triumph.
The Australians also made the visitors’ job a tad easy by conceding 10 extras in the match.
For records, it the third time in 11 T20 matches that Indian eves have managed to beat Australia.
Australia Women: 125/8 in 18 overs (Meg Lanning 49, Jhulan Goswami 2/16)
India Women: 69/0 in 9.1 overs (target 66 via D/L method) (Mithali Raj 37 not out)