Australia takes a 1-0 lead with its chasing masterclass

In the first match in Mumbai, Australia defeated India by six wickets thanks to fifty-fives from Ellyse Perry (75 off 72), Tahlia McGrath (68* off 55), and Phoebe Litchfield (78 off 89). This was the second most successful chase in women’s ODI history.

Australia reached home with 21 balls remaining after setting a tough goal of 283 on a favorable batting surface at the Wankhede Stadium. The threesome’s efforts overshadowed Jemimah Rodrigues’ (82 off77) and Pooja Vastrakar’s (62* off46) outstanding performance earlier in the day when the pair produced an incredible comeback for India, who were 182/7 at one point.

India chose to bat on an excellent batting surface, but they lost wickets frequently, therefore their innings needed to be more consistent for the most part. Australia gained the upper hand because many of their batsmen received starts before being softly dismissed. Yastika Bhatia opened the batting, and Richa Ghosh, who was moved up to number three, provided the first thrust. The batting order needed to be adjusted because Smriti Mandhana was out for India owing to illness, but the experiment was only partially successful. The Aussies were chipping away, and if Richa fell victim to a leading edge, Yastika gave away her wicket to a full toss.

Harmanpreet Kaur, the skipper, was out quickly, and Deepti and Amanjot were the next batters to blow their starts. Jemimah batted with assurance at the other end during all of this, making full use of her touch play. She countered the spinners with her favorite sweep shot, using the pace of the quick bowlers to deflect the ball to all corners. She only had seven boundaries in her knock, but she scored at a rate higher than run-a-ball, demonstrating her flawless strike rotation abilities. She appeared to run out of partners, though, as wickets fell at the other end. Up till Pooja showed up.

Both hitters appeared to be in the rhythm of their partnership right away, clearly exuding confidence from their previous Test successes. Even though the all-rounder should be ranked a few spots higher, she saw it as a challenge to improve. There was purpose from the beginning, and although there was also a coincidental stroke of luck, Pooja gained self-assurance as the innings went on. Despite being exhausted from the intense heat, Jemimah persisted until eventually holed out to long-off in the 47th over. When it looked like that number would not be achievable at one point, the score had already exceeded 250 by that moment. The sum was then exceeded by Pooja by using the long handle and peppering the boundaries.

Australia’s pursuit got off to a less-than-ideal start as captain Alyssa Healy was bowled out by Sneh Rana at gully in the opening over of the session. The hosts had the ideal start, but Perry and Litchfield rapidly established a fantastic working relationship. Because Perry was the more assertive one, the junior partner was able to take on the role more easily. India’s bowling did not maintain pressure on the hitters for extended periods due to a lack of consistency. The longer the chase, the lower the fielding standards also became. With her deft strokeplay and agile footwork, Perry was bowling at her usual high level.

Litchfield’s innings started rough, but in the 17th over, she began to click, hitting three straight fours against Deepti Sharma. Perry’s left leg cramps eventually caused her to collapse to a fatigued stroke, but the groundwork was laid for the remaining batting lineup to complete the job. McGrath scored another half-century, carrying over her form from the Test match in which she hit two fifties. She started off strong, and although Litchfield lost soon after, she found a capable partner in Beth Mooney, and together they led Australia to the finish line. Ultimately, Australia won 1-0 and it was a canter. 

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