Mumbai: Australia women’s cricket team continued their winning streak against India by beating Harmanpreet Kaur and co by six wickets in the first match of the Women’s T20 Triangular Series 2017-18 at the Brabourne Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
After Meg Lanning won the toss and elected to bowl, openers Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana delivered the hosts the best possible start. Mumbai girl Mandhana (67) led from the front as she took the attack to the opposition, laying the foundation for a big score.
The 72-run stand between the duo was soon put to an end by Ashleigh Gardener as she struck with the precious wicket of Mithali (18). Few overs later, the off-spinner got rid of danger woman Mandhana to provide the visitors with a huge sigh of relief.
But hosts were soon caught in a pickle after Ellyse Perry joined the party with dismissals of India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (13) and youngster Jemimah Rodrigues, who departed for a duck.
The loss of three wickets for a single run put the brakes on India’s aggressive approach as the Aussies rocked back in style.
There on, middle-order batswomen Veda Krishnamurthy and Anuja Patil stitched a 41-run partnership as the Women in Blue steered past the 150 mark. Delissa Kimmince claimed the final wicket for the visitors in the form of Anuja (35) as India ended at 152-5.
Making a comeback into the side after a heel injury, Jhulan Goswami wreaked havoc early on during the powerplay as Alyssa Healy and Gardner were both bowled by the lanky pacer.
Despite the early wobble, Beth Mooney and Elyse Villani steered the innings, striking a 78-run stand for the third wicket with a cautious and a proactive mindset.
India were given a sniff when Goswami got rid of the set Mooney (45), followed by the wicket of Villani (39) who was dismissed cheaply by Poonam Yadav.
However, from there, Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes ensured there were no hiccups for the Aussies, as they cruised to a comfortable victory.
Australia now take on Heather Knight's England side in the second match on Friday....