COURAGEOUS EFFORT FROM INDIA IN A LOSING CAUSE.

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The opening T20I was a washout and the weather today for the 2nd T20I was kind as there weren’t any interruptions. Was a must win game for India to keep the series alive but did make a game of what could have been a cakewalk for Australia as it was another cracker of a game that went close but at the end remained Australia who script a crucial win.

TOSS : Australia won the toss and opt to bowl. AUSTRALIA’S XI : Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Tahila McGrath, Nicola Carey, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Hannah Darlington, Tayla Vlaeminck

INDIA’S XI : Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh Thakur.

India didn’t have the best of starts as openers, Smriti and Shafali were back in the dugout early with scores of 1 and 3 respectively, Tayla Vlaeminck with the wickets of both openers to her name. Australia were disciplined and didn’t concede a single boundary till the 4th over, 5th over Harmanpreet Kaur struck a couple of beautiful boundaries and pushed India’s total. Last over of powerplay saw Sophie Molineux dismiss Jemimah Rodriques on 7 and India end powerplay on 3-25. 8th over of play Harmanpreet Kaur rocketed few to the boundary and gathered 15 of that Perry over before Georgia Wareham was introduced and looking to put pressure on the youngster Harmanpreet Kaur stepped out to deposit one over the rope but was stumped by Healy, excellent 28(20) from skipper Harmanpreet. A few balls later Yastika Bhatia was ran out on 8(11), huge mix-up. Halfway stage India were 53-5. Nicola Carey was in action and Richa Ghosh blindly swings one and saw her stumps rattled, walked back 2(10). Deepti Sharma who was looking good on one end was ran out, another big mix-up as Deepti walked back for 16(19), Shikha Pandey and Renuka Singh add 1 each to India’s tally before being dismissed and India were 9 down with 81 on board. Last 3 overs, Rajeshwari Gayakwad survived 4 deliveries and Pooja Vastrakar managed the show as she struck boundaries and gave India two big overs, 18 and 16 run overs as India end their 20 with 118 on board. Pooja, the star remained unbeaten on 37(26).

Pooja Vastrakar batted brilliantly for her 37*(26) that saw India get to a respectful total.

7 bowlers on display from Australia; spinners ruled the show and did the job well to restrict India, Sophie with economy of 2.8 picked up 2 in her 4, Gardner with economy of 3 had a wicket to her name and Wareham just bowled a couple but had a wicket to her name. Pacers, Hannah Darlington and Ellyse Perry bowled couple each and were expensive in their 2nd overs after impressive 1st, Tayla Vlaeminck again was impressive and this time with economy of 6 had two wickets to her name in her 3 and Nicola Carey had a wicket to her name but did receive some treatment from Pooja and finsihed with expensive economy.

Sophie Molineux pick of the bowlers for Australia, couple of wickets to her name with economy of 2.8 in her 4.

Australia in reply saw Alyssa Healy with a boundary get proceedings underway for Australia and the very next ball Shikha Pandey found some sharp swing that dismissed Healy. Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney did well to not lose a wicket more in the powerplay as Australia finsihed powerplay on 1-33. Rajeshwari Gayakwad striked in her first over as Meg Lanning walked back for 15(20), India had their second in quick succession as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur got herself into the attack and bagged a key wicket of the dangerous Ashleigh Gardner on 1(5) and a wicket more as Australia were losing it in the crunch moment, Deepti was called into the attack and Perry looked for a hit on ball 1 but saw her depart as Kaur took a sharp catch. Tahila McGrath and Beth Mooney got Australia back in after the collapse but Mooney was next to depart on 34(36) and Rajeshwari had her 2nd. Nicola Carey and McGrath continued to guide Australia close to the total but Carey walked back on 7(8) and Rajeshwari had her 3rd. Georgia Wareham did well on one end as Tahila McGrath on the other end took charge with 11 in the 18th over and 13 in 19th over saw Tahila had bagged the game Australia’s way. Tahila McGrath and Georgia Wareham remained unbeaten on 42(33) and 10(7) respectively. Not the first time a McGrath won a game for Australia, it’s been a headline several times. With the win Australia bag the multi-format series with a match more to go.

Tahila McGrath came in when Australia were in trouble but played an outstanding knock and got Australia over the line, 43*(33).

India were excellent with the ball but like Australia missed their tactics in the last three overs. 8 overs of spin; Rajeshwari Gayakwad in her 4 picked up 3 with economy of 5.2, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma bowled a couple each and bagged a wicket each with decent economy. 3 pacers on show; Shikha Pandey and Renuka Singh started well but couldn’t finish strong and Pooja Vastrakar did well in her 3.1 overs.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad pick of the bowlers for India with 3 wickets to her name.

India were out of the game early but there was a good fightback from Pooja that took India to a respectful total then with the ball India disappointed Australia but at the end Australia held their nerve with Mooney and McGrath special that saw them bag the win, bowlers have had a good outing. Quick turnaround for the final game of the multi-format series, the 3rd T2OI is scheduled for tomorrow where batters will look to put up better performances and India have been dominant, tuff competitors and have done well to push Australia on the backfoot on several occasions but now will wish for a comprehensive win.

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