IND W v AUS W: Litchfield, Perry, McGrath fifties help Australia Women go 1-0 up

In a thrilling encounter at the Wankhede Stadium, Australia showcased their batting prowess to secure a remarkable victory over India in the first of the three ODIs by six wickets with 21 balls remaining.

 In a thrilling encounter at the Wankhede Stadium, Australia showcased their batting prowess to secure a remarkable victory over India in the first of the three ODIs by six wickets with 21 balls remaining.

Ellyse Perry and the promising Phoebe Litchfield stole the spotlight, turning India’s formidable score of 282 into a manageable target.

The chase began on a challenging note for Australia, losing Alyssa Healy in the opening over. However, Perry’s aggressive start and Litchfield’s calculated approach laid the foundation for an impressive partnership.

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Perry, with a blistering 72-ball innings featuring nine fours and two sixes, showcased her intent from the outset. Meanwhile, Litchfield, in her 12th ODI and debut in India, exhibited maturity beyond her years with an 89-ball knock adorned with eight boundaries and a six.

The left-right duo’s 148-run stand set the tone for Australia’s pursuit, and even after Perry’s departure, Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath stepped up to the challenge. McGrath, in her role as full-time vice-captain, anchored the innings with an unbeaten 68.

Despite Pooja Vastrakar’s late breakthrough, it proved too little too late for India as Australia clinched the victory with six wickets in hand.

Earlier, India had faced early setbacks but rallied through a commendable eighth-wicket partnership between Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar. Rodrigues, carrying her Test form into ODIs, displayed grit under the scorching Mumbai sun, accumulating a classy 82. Vastrakar, with a blazing knock of 62 not out, provided crucial support, helping India amass 82 runs in the final ten overs.

However, the late surge wasn’t enough to overcome the absence of vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and the relentless Australian batting lineup. Australia’s spinners, Wareham and Ashleigh Gardner, played pivotal roles, scalping two wickets each to restrict India’s innings.

As the series progresses, Australia’s emphatic run chase sets the stage for an exciting battle between the two cricketing powerhouses. The resilience shown by both teams promises more enthralling moments in the upcoming ODIs.

 (IANS)