IND-W v AUS-W: Richa Ghosh’s 96, Deepti’s 5-38 in vain as Australia win thriller by 3 runs, claim series 2-0

Richa Ghosh struck a 117-ball 96 after off-spinner Deepti Sharma claimed a fifer but their efforts went in vain as India Women went down to Australia Women by three runs in a thrilling second ODI, thus clinching the three-match series 2-0 here on Saturday.

Richa Ghosh struck a 117-ball 96 after off-spinner Deepti Sharma claimed a fifer but their efforts went in vain as India Women went down to Australia Women by three runs in a thrilling second ODI, thus clinching the three-match series 2-0 here on Saturday.

Deepti Sharma claimed 5-38 but dropped catches by India Women and fifties by opener Phoebe Litchfield (63) and Ellyse Perry (50) helped Australia Women reach 258/8 in 50 overs at the Wankhede Stadium.

In reply, India could manage 255/8 in 50 overs, losing their way from a strong position after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. Smriti Mandhana, who had dropped a couple of catches while fielding, struck a 38-ball 34 to give India a good start.

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Richa Ghosh, who made her Test debut in the one-off Test against Australia Women last week, reached her half-century off 74 deliveries. The 20-year-old from Siliguri raised an 88-run partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues (44) to take the score to 159/2.

In a match in which both teams dropped several catches, Phoebe Litchfield pulled off a superb catch at short extra-cover off leg-spinner Georgia Wareham, who tossed up a delivery on off-stump and Jemimah attempted an inside-out shot.

India lost two quick wickets as Harmanpreet Kaur (5) and Amanjot Kaur (4) got out to Wareham and Annabel Sutherland respectively.

From a strong position, India reached a situation where they needed 22 runs from 18 balls, India lost their way as Sutherland and Ashleigh Gardner bowled two great overs, both giving three runs and taking one wicket each in the 48th and 49th overs.

India needed 16 runs from the last six balls of the match and Deepti Sharma started by hitting Sutherland for a boundary off the first ball but could manage only one run off the next. Tahila McGrath dropped Shreyanka Patil as the Indians scampered for one run. Sutherland bowled a wide but followed it up with a fine yorker to deny Deepti.

Deepti Sharma could manage only one run off the fifth delivery and though Patil hammered a boundary off the last delivery, India fell short by three runs. Deepti ended 24 not out off 30 balls while debutante Shreyanka Patil remained not out on five off 2 balls.

India missed the services of experienced bowler Sneh Rana, who suffered a head injury during a collision with Pooja Vastrakar while fielding. Harleen Deol came in as a concussion substitute and could only manage 1 off four deliveries late in the innings.

Earlier, Deepti Sharma was pressed late into the attack but claimed 5/38 in 10 overs which helped India leave Australia wobbling at 219 for 8. They could have restricted them to a smaller score if the fielders had held onto their chances.

Litchfield and Alyssa Healy (13) raised 40 runs for the first wicket but after the captain’s departure, Ellysa Perry joined Litchfield to take the score past 100, raising 77 runs for the second wicket partnership. Australia reached a hundred off 20.3 overs.

Perry completed her half-century off 46 balls, hitting five boundaries and one six. Litchfield too reached the mark soon, reaching fifty off 74 balls studded with six boundaries.

Tahlia McGrath (24) and Annabel Sutherland (23) as Australia reached 200 in 42.6 overs. Alana King (28 not out off 17 balls) and Kim Garth (10 off 10) added quickfire 39 runs for the ninth wicket as Australia reached 258/8 in 50 overs.

For India, Deepti claimed the wickets of Perry, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Georgia Wareham and Annabel Sutherland in a superb bowling effort.

Brief scores:

Australia Women 258/8 in 50 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 63, Ellyse Perry 50, Alana King 28 not out; Deepti Sharma 5-38) beat India Women 255/8 in 50 overs (Richa Ghosh 96, Jemimah Rodrigues 44, Smriti Mandhana 34, Deepti Sharma 24 not out; Annabel Sutherland 3-47, Georgia Wareham 2-39) by 3 runs.

(IANS)