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India Women seal historic win in Australia

Mithali, Mandhana steer side to ten-wicket win after bowlers restrict home side in rain-hit match

India Women seal historic win in Australia
 - Cricket News
That India was chasing a target within reach was down to how well the bowlers had come back to restrict Australia’s charge.
Neither the rain gods nor the world champion Australia team could stop India Women from recording a historic win in the second Twenty20 International against Australia Women on Friday (January 29), taking a winning 2-0 lead in its three-match series for a first-ever bilateral series win against Australia.
In a rain-affected match in Melbourne, Mithali Raj, the captain, and Smriti Mandhana, the talented young opener, took India to 69 for no loss in 9.1 overs, after being set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 66 in 10 overs. Fittingly, it was Raj, the captain, who hit the winning runs in the 10-wicket win, flicking Ellyse Perry, the recent winner of the Belinda Clarke medal, for four to square-leg, to spark off celebrations in the India camp.

The bowlers and fielders had done their bit in restricting Australia to 125 for 8, after the match was originally reduced to 18-overs-a-side thanks to the rain delaying the toss and the start of play. It began only 19 minutes after the scheduled start, but with a men’s T20I also scheduled, any time lost meant a reduction in overs.
Raj (37 not out off 32) and Mandhana (22 not out off 24) began the chase batting with control and fluency, and the score had moved to 52 without loss in 7.5 overs when a second spell of showers shortened the match still further. There was still a bit of drizzle around when Raj and Mandhana walked back out needing to score 14 runs off the 13 remaining balls for the win. In the event, they needed just eight balls, Mandhana uncorking a cover drive to get things moving, and Raj hitting two boundaries of her own.
It completed a terrific day for India, who proved itself better all-round than Australia, and will now enter the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2016 with confidence and prospects much higher.
Given a target that was not too steep, what Raj and Mandhana needed to do was not go all guns blazing, but gather runs smartly, and they did just that. The bad balls were put away to the boundary, but the singles and twos were key and both women ensured those didn’t dry up.
Mandhana began promisingly, flicking Rene Farrell for a boundary off her third ball. Even though the ropes are pulled in for women’s matches, that shot travelled all the way to the original Melbourne Cricket Ground boundary.

That India was chasing a target within reach was down to how well the bowlers had come back to restrict Australia’s charge.
Australia’s innings was built around a single partnership, with Meg Lanning, the captain, and Jess Jonassen, the all-rounder, coming together for a 70-run stand for the fourth wicket off just 51 balls. Both Lanning and Jonassen found the bowling fairly easy to deal with and the boundaries easier to come by.  They had come together with Australia in some trouble at 33 for 3 in the fifth over thanks to Jhulan Goswami’s excellent opening spell. However, neither Lanning nor Jonassen allowed the pressure to bog them down, getting runs all around the park with free-spirited strokeplay.
They began with intelligent placing and then accelerated smoothly, punishing Poonam Yadav and Niranjana Nagarajan, both batters going over the fence on occasion too. Australia seemed set to post a big total when India caught a lucky break. Harmanpreet Kaur, brought on in 14th over for her first bowl, got a hand to a firm drive by Jonassen, and the ball rolled on to the stumps with Lanning well outside the crease.
Lanning was unfortunate to depart on 49 off 39, but her dismissal opened the floodgates. Australia went from 103 for 3 in 13.1 overs to 113 for 8 in 15.5, wickets tumbling so quickly that the home team couldn’t gather themselves and recover. Jonassen was out in the same over as Lanning for 27 off 26, and that meant a constant influx of new batters. Several fell while trying to hit out, caught off top edges and leading edges around the inner circle and Farrell, the eighth to fall, done in by some quick glovework courtesy Sushma Verma.
The rush of wickets meant Australia finished well below what it had set itself up for when Lannign and Jonassen were going strong, and that proved costly in the final analysis.

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