All-round Australia steamroll India in women’s T20 tri-series opener
After whitewashing India in the recent ODI series, Australia started the women’s T20 tri-series with a comfortable win over the hosts in the opening game of the tournament in Mumbai on Thursdaycricket Updated: Mar 22, 2018 13:53 IST
The change in format didn’t bring any change to the fortune of Indian women as visiting Australians steamrolled them by six wickets in the women’s T20 tri-series opener at the Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
After whitewashing the hosts in the recent ODI series, the Southern Stars were coming into the game with a mental edge over their opponents and they made full use of it, not giving the home side even a semblance of a chance in a contest that was completely lopsided.
After restricting India to a moderate 152/5, the Meg Lanning-side batted with calculated aggression and romped home with 11 balls to spare.
Jhulan Goswami provided India early breakthroughs by castling in-form wicketkeeper-batswoman Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner, who was promoted up the order, in her first two overs. However, opener Beth Mooney (45 off 32) and Elyse Villani (39 off 33) took the Indian attack to cleaners during their 79-run stand for the third wicket to make it a walk in the park for the visitors.
Though both the batsmen departed in quick succession, by then the damage had already been done as skipper Lanning (35 off 25) and Rachael Haynes (12 off 9) completed the formalities without any further hiccup.
Earlier, Smriti Mandhana, in the company of Mithali Raj, got India off to a flyer, unsettling Australian bowlers with a flurry of strokes. Mandhana, in particular, was aggressive from the word go and found the fence at will.
Experienced Raj looked a bit subdued, but she gave ample support to her hard-hitting southpaw partner as the duo put on 72 in the first nine overs.
However, things went downhill for the hosts from there on as offie Gardner and pace bowling all-rounder Ellyse Perry struck crucial blows to bring the visitors back into the game.
Gardner provided the first breakthrough by getting Mithali stumped by Healy for 18. Mandhana, though, continued to flourish and brought up her half-century before becoming Gardner’s second prey in the 14th over. Her innings of 67 was studded with 11 fours and two sixes.
Mandhana’s departure sparked a collapse as India lost three wickets in a span of seven balls for the addition of a solitary run. Perry bounced out skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and local lass Jemimah Rodrigues to leave the hosts tottering at 100 for 4 in the 15th over.
At this stage, visiting bowlers were all over India and boundaries were completely dried. However, Anuja Patil (35 off 21) hit some lusty blows towards the end to take the women in blue past 150 which didn’t prove enough in the end.
England take on Australia in the tournament’s second match on Friday.
Brief scores: India 152 for 5 in 20 overs (S Mandhana 67, A Patil 35, A Gardner 2/22, E Perry 2/31) lost to Australia 156 for 4 in 18.1 overs (B Mooney 45, E Villani 39, M Lanning 35*, J Goswami 3/30) by six wickets.