India squandered a golden chance to put an end to Australia’s ODI winning streak as the hosts came through on the last ball to gun down a total of 275, extending the streak to 26. Beth Mooney’s 125 runs innings bagged her the Player of the Match while Smriti Mandhana made 86 for India when they put on a substantial scorer of 274 batting first.
Shefali and Mandhana put up 74 for the first wicket before spinner Sophie Molineux got one to click on the stumps, sending Shefali back. Then Indians derailed a bit and lost two more quickly with the score at 95/3. Mandhana continued to hit sensational boundaries and racked up 76 runs for the fourth wicket along with Richa Ghosh. Then, Tahlia McGrath, had her caught on a back-of-a-length delivery.
Richa Ghosh fell at 199 after playing a momentum-shifting 44 runs innings and India’s lower order once again made a late surge. Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, and Jhulan Goswami all made runs in the excess of 20s and propelled India to a more-than-decent 274.
India had a dream start with the ball. Jhulan Goswami set up Alyssa Healy with a chain of incoming and outgoing deliveries and she got bowled for a zero. Then Meg Lanning and Elyse Perry fell as well with Australia reduced 31/3 chasing a big total. Ashleigh Garnder fell to Vastrakar and Australia got four down with 223 runs to go and their win-streak under fire.
After impressing with the ball, Tahlia looked aggressive and got Australia back in the game, adding 124 runs for the fifth wicket. Tahlia fell to Deepti Sharma on an ordinary delivery but did her bid after making 74 runs off just 77 balls. Then entered Nicola Carey when Aussies needed 97 off just 69 deliveries.
Carey began to run hard with Mooney and the pair turned on the speed with their impressive running, putting pressure on fielders and stealing couples. With just an over to go, Australia needed 13 runs facing India’s best bowler Jhulan Goswami and that is when a lot of drama ensued. India fielded poorly in the last over, and on the first ball, gave away three runs on overthrows, caused by the stellar running between Carey and Mooney.
Then, another misfield allowed a couple of runs and on the next delivery, a slip of the ball from Jhulan caused a beamer, resulting in a no-ball. Then Australian batters hustled back for one more couple, and ultimately, Australia needed three of the last ball. Goswami bowled another waist-height delivery to Carey, who got caught but before India could complete the celebrations, the TV umpire called a no-ball. On the last ball, Carey carved it to midwicket, ran another two, and sealed the victory. Such drama!
It was a great game played by both the teams, was thinking it was around 550 runs today. The batting department has done really well. [The no-ball] For me it was quite a nervous last ball because anything could have happened, we didn't expect a no-ball but it's part of the game and we were all on the edge of our seat. We will continue to put up the show we did today.
Mithali Raj, India’s Captain