Ashley and Beth lead Australia to fifties
By Sangeeta Viswas
on Sun Sep 26 2021
Ashley and Beth led Australia to fifties, Tahlia McGrath’s 47-run cameo along with half-centuries from Gardner and Mooney made Australia’s 264 for 9 in the third ODI at Mackay.
The sticking point in India’s failed defense of 274 two days earlier, a used Ray Mitchell with good carry and movement on the oval surface, cut down much of the work of the opening strikes made by his attack.
India missed four real chances and conceded at least 15 runs through misfields and a run-out chance following the death of Rachel Haynes and Meg Lanning in the Powerplay following swing-bowling spells from Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh. Both lost to Goswami for 13 and 0 respectively, Nipun made a swift 6-2-15-2 comeback in her first spell.
Alyssa Healy was next to follow, as left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gaikwad ran her out at the non-striker’s end with a throw from Ellyse Perry’s straight drive off her own ball.
After Goswami’s spell, Gaikwad and Sneh Rana bowled together for the next eight overs, with Deepti Sharma’s offspin initiative in the 20th. In the next over, Mooney was beaten on the inside edge off pacer Pooja Vastrakar’s first ball and along with Sharma, She kept the scoring rate in check as Australia hit just two boundaries in the post 15 overs.
4 Ellyse Perry began a short-lived rebuild, scoring 26 off 47 balls, adding 25 runs with Mooney. Also, Perry became the fifth Australian woman to score 5000 international runs. Before Perry, Belinda Clark, Karen Rolton, Alex Blackwell and Lanning had achieved this reward.
Australia reached 100 in 27.1 overs, the slowest signal they have reached since the start of their presented record ODI-winning streak in March 2018. But India’s inability to capitalize on the opposition’s slow start meant coming out of No. 5 Mooney, one.
Beth Mooney got a respite on 29 as she went to cover to drive uphill. She played a maiden run against Rana in the next over, distinguished herself for two close shaves as Goswami resumed the attack for her second spell.
On the first ball of the 35th over, Goswami missed Beth Mooney’s off-stump with a whisker and three balls later jumped tantalizingly close to short midwicket. Second lifeline came for 38 as Rana took a straight return catch.
Gardner completed her half-century, a fourth in the script, with six overs needed inside deep cover in the 40th over. A ball later, Beth hits her half-century.
Third in fixed-overs innings against India, in the 2020 T20 World Cup final, with a boundary midwicket. Just when Australia appeared ready to step on the gas, however, a slog sweep saw off-spinner Rana’s full delivery crash into Mooney’s middle stump. Her stand with Gardner ended for 98 runs in 93 balls.
Australia added 80 runs for the loss of four wickets in the last ten overs due to McGrath’s innings and poor performance by the Indian fielders. Gardner was dropped for 62 as fielders converged under a skier at short cover.
Shafali Verma then followed with a goal opportunity when McGrath was on 28, and she scored 47 of 32 before Vastrakar caught her by Raj at short backward square leg.
Gaikwad took the wicket when she should have been near both Mooney and Gardner, while Vastrakar took 3 for 46, her highest return in ODIs.
A four-run double-wicket over from Goswami, who himself took a drop in the ground, several misfields and 3 for 37 against her name, scored the innings goal as Australia looked to sustain themselves. Put yourself in a strong position. The winning streak kept alive.