IND v AUS: Registering a clinical victory by four wickets in the second T20I, Australia has taken a 9-5 lead in their ongoing multi-format series against India.
Winning the toss, Australia sent the visitors to set up the target. India got off to a disappointing start, losing three wickets in quick succession as the top three important batters of the team failed miserably while putting just 24 runs on their scoreboard. These included wicktes of Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, and T20 specialist Shafali Verma. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur tried to put the team on track but retired as soon as she added 28 runs to their score. Tayla Vlaeminck and Sophie Molineux picked three wickets each for the hosts, with the former returning figures of 2/18 and the latter 2/11.
The team kept losing wickets at regular intervals, however, the No. 8 Pooja Vastrakar played a swashbuckling knock of 37* runs off 27 balls to take the total above 100 runs. The team managed to put up 118 runs at the loss of 9 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
The modest target seemed to be a plain sailing affair for the hosts. But India refused to throw in the towel so easily. Shikha Pandey cleaned up Alyssa Healy within the first over of their innings. However, Beth Mooney picked up momentum and added 34 runs to the chase. After losing Mooney, they lost three successive wickets, which slowed them down in their quest. Rajeshwari Gayakwad rattled their batting lineup, dismissing 3 for 21 from her four overs.
But then Tahlia McGrath’s heroics in the middle-order ensured a thrilling victory in the penultimate game of the series, as she hammered an unbeaten 42 runs in 33 balls and took home the Player of the Match award.
The teams play their last T20I on Sunday (October 10). India would be looking to bowing out of the series on a winning note.
IND v AUS Squads
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
India T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (wk), Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh.
Brief scores: Australia 119 for 6 (McGrath 42*, Mooney 34, Gayakwad 3-21) beat India 118 for 9 (Vastrakar 37*, Harmanpreet 28, Molineux 2-11, Vlaeminck 2-18) by four wickets
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