Thanks to Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian women’s team kept their hopes alive of reaching the finals of the Tri-series with a their successful run chase in the 5th match against Australia played at Junction Oval, Melbourne on Saturday.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and decided to field first. The decision paid off as Deepti Sharma dismissed Alyssa Healy off the 3rd ball of the innings. Ashleigh Gardner came to the crease and attacked the Indian bowlers right from word go. Beth Mooney on the other hand was struggling to score runs. At the end of six overs, Australian women were 49 for 1.
After the power play overs, Harleen Deol who came into the playing XI got the wicket of Beth Mooney. Mooney and Gardner added 62 runs for the 2nd wicket. Australian captain Meg Lanning came to the crease and played with positive intent.
Gardner reached her fifty off just 33 balls. Both Australian batters were aggressive against the Indian bowlers. Deepti Sharma got the big wicket of Meg Lanning for 37. Lanning and Gardner added 79 runs for the 3rd wicket. After Lanning wicket, the Indian bowlers made a strong comeback to restrict the run flow and kept picking wickets at regular intervals. Radha Yadav dismissed the dangerous Gardner for a brilliant 93. Australian women posted 173 for 5 in 20 overs.
In reply to 174 runs to win, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana took the attack to Australian bowlers with aggressive strokes which put the hosts under pressure. Verma was severe on the bad balls and just took off right from word go. At the end of six overs, Indian openers raced to 70 for 0.
After the power play overs, Verma and Mandhana made the batting look easy. To hit a boundary, Verma was dismissed by Perry with a catch by Carey at the boundary for a quickfire 49 off 28 balls. The Indian openers added 85 runs in 8.2 overs. Jemimah Rodrigues came to the crease and kept the momentum of the innings playing with positive intent and making life of Australian bowlers tough. With things looking in control, Rodrigues was dismissed by Schutt. Rodrigues and Mandhana added 37 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Harmanpreet Kaur struggled with her timing while Smriti Mandhana reached her fifty off 44 balls. Mandhana was dismissed by Carey for well made 55. Mandhana and Kaur added 42 runs for the 3rd wicket. Deepti Sharma came and hit an important boundary. With 4 runs required off last over, Deepti Sharma scored the runs to help Indian women chase down their successful run chase in T20Is. Kaur remained not out on 20 which helped Indian women register a sensational 7 wicket win.
Indian women 177 for 3 in 19.4 overs (Smriti Mandhana 55, Shafali Verma 49, Megan Schutt 1/29) beat Australian women 173 for 5 in 20 overs ( Ashleigh Gardner 93, Meg Lanning 37, Deepti Sharma 2/27) by 7 wickets.
With this win, the Indian women’s team have kept their hopes alive of reaching the finals. The final league match will be played between Australian women and England women tomorrow.