2nd T20I : Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh power India Women to victory against Australia Women, level series 1-1

Mumbai : Smriti Mandhana and Richa Ghosh starred with the bat as India Women held their nerves to beat Australia Women in Super Over of the second T20I and level the five-match series 1-1 at D.Y. Patil Stadium, here on Sunday.

Set 188 for victory, Mandhana smashed an impressive half-century (79 off 49) and kept India alive in the chase before she got out in the 17th over. Once, Smriti got out, Richa Ghosh took the baton and played an impactful cameo (26 off 13) and along with Devika Vaidya (11 not out off 5) helped India tie the game.

India emerged as the winner in the Super Over after both teams scored the same total — India 187-5 and Australia 187-1 — in their respective 20 overs. Riding on Smriti’s quickfire 13 off 3, along with Richa (6) and Harmanpreet (1), India scored 20 runs against the bowling of Heather Graham in the Super Over.

In reply, Alyssa Healy smashed Renuka for a boundary in the very ball but she made an impressive comeback by giving just one run on the second ball and dismissing Gardner on the third delivery.

She conceded 11 runs in the next three balls as India eventually won the Super Over and brought an end to Australia’s unbeaten run across all formats in 2022. Before this, Mandhana gave India a positive start in a big run chase by smashing a flurry of boundaries in the first few overs.

Shafali Varma (34 off 23) also joined the party as India raced to 55 in just six overs. With the boundaries flowing, Alana King gave Australia a timely breakthrough by breaking the 76-run partnership and in the very next over, Jemimah Rodrigues got out.

Harmanpreet Kaur (21 off 22) got going very early with a four and a six but Australia managed to keep her quiet thereafter. Mandhana kept India in the chase during the middle overs by regularly clearing the boundary on the leg side.

India appeared to be in the driver’s seat when they needed 55 from the final five overs but both set batters were dismissed in the space of five deliveries to hand Australia the advantage.

However, Ghosh hammered a full toss for a huge six straight down the ground and followed it up with two more sixes in the following over to bring the equation down to 18 off 12. A see-saw battle ensued in the final moments leaving India five to get from the final delivery.

Megan Schutt, who bowled an excellent last over, found the yorker again but Devika Vaidya managed to dig it out and find the boundary to force a Super Over. Debutant Heather Graham was the most successful bowler for Australia with her brilliant figures of 3/22.

Earlier, put into bat first, skipper Alyssa Healy (25 off 15) gave Australia a flying start by dealing in boundaries. With fast bowlers not making much of an impact, Harmanpreet introduced spin of Deepti Sharma in the fourth over and it worked as Healy cut and got a leading edge, with Vaidya taking a catch at short third-man.

McGrath (70 not out) then joined Mooney (82 not out) at the crease and the pair continued from where they left in the first T20I. They put on an exhibition of T20I batting with their skill and good cricketing application to stitch a solid unbeaten partnership of 158 runs for the second wicket against the ordinary bowling and fielding effort of India.

Mooney slammed her half-century in 38 balls while McGrath reached the milestone in 37 balls as they hit the ball to all parts of the ground by toying with the fields and taking very calculated risks. While everyone went for runs, Deepti Sharma (1-31) was the lone wicket-taker for India.

Brief scores: Australia Women 187/1 in 20 overs (Mooney 82 not out, McGrath 70 not out; Deepti 1-31) vs India Woman 187/5 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 79, Shafali Verma 34, Richa Ghosh 26 not out; Heather Graham 3-22) Match tied.

Super Over: India W: 20/1 (1) beat Australia W: 16/1 (1)

 

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