That was another good day for India, though they are likely to run out of time in their attempt to win the match. Deepti Sharma’s patient 66 helped them to 377 for eight declared before the new-ball bowlers, Jhulan Goswami and Pooja Vastrakar took two wickets apiece. They bowled beautifully, Goswami in particular, but were unable to shift Elysse Perry. She was formidably secure in defence, making 27 not out from 98 balls. That’s all for today’s blog - goodnight!
60th over: Australia 143-4 (Perry 27, Gardner 13) Vastrakar returns for the final over of the day and almost gets her third wicket when Gardner, pushing tentatively, edges wide of slip for four. That’s the last scare of the day for Australia, who will need another 85 runs to avoid the follow-on when they resume tomorrow.
59th over: Australia 138-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 9) Not long now until the close of play. Gardner gets a couple of bonus runs when a drive goes through Mandhana in the covers. Goswami is done for the day - she picked up both openers and finished with admirable figures of 14-3-27-2.
58th over: Australia 136-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 7) Gardner hoicks a full toss from Meghna Singh through midwicket for a couple. A ;ong day’s play - slow at times, intriguing at others - is starting to peter out.
57th over: Australia 133-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 4)
56th over: Australia 132-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 3) Meghna Singh, on for Vastrakar, beats both batters outside off stump during an excellent over. Gardner also took a tight single to mid-on, though she would have been home even if Mithali Raj’s throw had hit the stumps.
55th over: Australia 131-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 2) Perry may not have been fluent but she has been so solid defensively. She plays out another maiden from Goswami, who looks pretty tired after a long evening in the field.
54th over: Australia 131-4 (Perry 26, Gardner 2) India would love to pick up a couple more wickets before the close. Gardner almost gets in trouble when she wanders out of her crease after missing a leg-side delivery. Bhatia’s throw missed the stumps, and she might have been back in here crease anyway.
53rd over: Australia 130-4 (Perry 25, Gardner 2) Jhulan Goswami returns for one last spell before stumps, and almost gets through Gardner with an inducker that keeps low. In the end Gardner did well to inside-edge it to safety.
52nd over: Australia 128-4 (Perry 24, Gardner 1) The umpires are unhappy with the replacement ball, so there’s another break in play while it is changed. When play resumes, Gardner is beaten outside off stump by consecutive deliveries from Vastrakar and then inside-edges past leg stump. A reminder that Australia need 228 to avoid the follow on and effectively ensure a draw.
51st over: Australia 127-4 (Perry 24, Gardner 0) The dew is making life difficult for Gayakwad, who is drying the ball before each delivery. A couple of overpitched deliveries slip out of the hand and are put away with authority by Perry - the first through mid-off and the second through the covers.
50th over: Australia 119-4 (Perry 16, Gardner 0) There’s a break in play while the pink ball is changed. The old one was in a bit of a state, mainly because of the dew. Eventually the new batter Ashleigh Gardner faces her first couple of deliveries to complete the over.
WICKET! Australia 119-4 (McGrath c Mandhana b Vastrakar 28)
Tahlia McGrath has thrown it away. She slapped a short ball straight to deep backward point, where Smriti Mandhana took a comfortable catch. McGrath played nicely for her 28 and looked thoroughly hacked off with the manner of her dismissal.
49th over: Australia 118-3 (Perry 16, McGrath 28) Mithali Raj rotates her spinners for the umpteenth time today: Sharma off, Gayakwad on. She hasn’t been as threatening since tea, and she’s decided it’s time to try bowling over the wicket. I’m not sure that’s a good idea, though it has precisely bugger all to do with me. One from the over.
48th over: Australia 118-3 (Perry 16, McGrath 27) Perry’s innings hasn’t been entirely defensive. She has hit a handful of cracking drives straight to a fielder, including a couple more in that over from Vastrakar. A maiden.
47th over: Australia 118-3 (Perry 16, McGrath 27) McGrath drives Sharma down the ground for four, another excellent stroke in an increasingly confident innings. Verma might have done better, running round from mid-on, but it was very well struck. McGrath scored three from her first 32 deliveries; since then she’s hit 24 from 26 balls.
46th over: Australia 111-3 (Perry 15, McGrath 21) A maiden from Vastrakar. Meanwhile, this is glorious.
45th over: Australia 111-3 (Perry 15, McGrath 21) Deepti Sharma returns to the attack, and McGrath greets her with a gorgeous drive through extra cover for four. Australia have now scored 24 from the last five overs, having managed 24 from 18 before that.
45th over: Australia 111-3 (Perry 15, McGrath 21) Deepti Sharma returns to the attack, and McGrath greets her with a gorgeous drive through extra cover for four. Australia have now scored 24 from the last five overs, having managed 24 from 18 before that.
44th over: Australia 106-3 (Perry 15, McGrath 16) Perry finally gets her first boundary, steering Vastrakar past gully. A cracking straight drive off the next delivery is well fielded by the bowler, and that’s drinks.
43rd over: Australia 101-3 (Perry 11, McGrath 16) Perry has played with almost exaggerated restraint throughout her innings. She is dealing exclusively in singles; another one off Singh takes her to 11 from 55 balls.
42nd over: Australia 101-3 (Perry 10, McGrath 16) McGrath is starting to go through the gears. She rocks back to back cut Gayakwad for four, with the aid of an unfortunate misfield by Mandhana on the boundary. That brings up the Australian hundred.
41st over: Australia 97-3 (Perry 10, McGrath 12) There was a delivery in the previous over from Gayakwad that hit Perry on the pad when she came down the track. Nobody really appealed, but replays show it was on course to hit leg stump. Meanwhile, McGrath gets her first boundary - the first in 13 overs in fact - with a flick off the pads. Some good running makes it ten from the over, which is as many as Australia had scored in the previous 12 overs.
40th over: Australia 87-3 (Perry 9, McGrath 3) Rajeshwari Gayakwad replaces Sharma, who bowled an accurate, if largely unthreatening, spell of 5-4-2-0. A misfield in the cover from Verma allows Perry to go through for a single. That’s your lot.
39th over: Australia 86-3 (Perry 8, McGrath 3) Perry flicks Singh off the pads for a single. Not much is happening at the moment - although Australia’s batters are becalmed, they do look comfortable defensively.
38th over: Australia 85-3 (Perry 7, McGrath 3) Since tea Australia have scored 16 runs in 14 overs. Sharma isn’t really turning the ball but she has a nice rhythm and Australia’s batters haven’t yet felt confident enough to really attack her.
37th over: Australia 85-3 (Perry 7, McGrath 3) Meghna Singh replaces Pooja Vastrakar. She has an ultra-optimistic LBW appeal against McGrath, who was hit outside leg stump by a yorker. Not out.
36th over: Australia 84-3 (Perry 7, McGrath 3) Sharma concedes her first run from her 19th delivery, with Perry driving a single. McGrath adds another off the last ball of the over. There’s an argument that Australia, Perry in particular, need to be a bit more aggressive, though it’s easy to say that from the other side of the world.
35th over: Australia 82-3 (Perry 6, McGrath 2) Tahlia McGrath has started her innings confidently, albeit through assertive defensive strokes rather than anything more expansive. She plays out another maiden from Vastrakar. Australia have scored only seven runs from the last seven overs.
34th over: Australia 82-3 (Perry 6, McGrath 2) Deepti Sharma bowls a third consecutive maiden, the last two of which have been to Perry. I don’t know what else to tell you.
33rd over: Australia 82-3 (Perry 6, McGrath 2) Vastrakar will probably feel that’s karmic payback for those two chances that Lanning survived in the 16th over. Either way, it’s a huge wicket for India. They could still give Australia a fright in this game.
WICKET! Australia 80-3 (Lanning LBW b Vastrakar 38)
Meg Lanning is out! She pushed defensively at a beautiful delivery that jagged back to hit her on the pad in front of middle stump. It looked plumb, but replays showed there was a big inside-edge. There’s no DRS so Lanning has to go.
32nd over: Australia 80-2 (Lanning 38, Perry 6) Perry is playing very carefully; in fact I can’t recall an attacking stroke in her short innings. After another probing maiden from Sharma, she has six from 33 balls.
31st over: Australia 80-2 (Lanning 38, Perry 6) A double bowling change, with Pooja Vastrakar on for Goswami. She bowled a classy spell before tea and had Meg Lanning dropped in the gully. Lanning is still happy to drive outside off stump, though, a shot that brings her a couple more runs.
30th over: Australia 77-2 (Lanning 36, Perry 5) The offspinner Deepti Sharma comes on to replace Gayakwad, who was dangerous if erratic, and has a huge LBW shout against Lanning turned down by Phillip Gillespie. It was comfortably missing leg stump. But it’s a promising start from Sharma, a very tidy maiden.
29th over: Australia 77-2 (Lanning 36, Perry 5) Perry is living dangerously against Goswami. She inside-edges past short leg for a couple, the only runs from another excellent over.
28th over: Australia 75-2 (Lanning 36, Perry 3) Gayakwad drops short and is cracked through point for four by Lanning. Though Australia haven’t always looked comfortable against Gayakwad, they have been ruthless when she has erred in length.
27th over: Australia 71-2 (Lanning 32, Perry 3) Goswami is getting just enough movement in the air to unnerve the Australian batters. Perry, set up by a couple of inswingers, chases a wider outswinger and is beaten. Goswami has bowled pretty majestically, and figures of 9-2-20-2 don’t flatter her.
26th over: Australia 71-2 (Lanning 32, Perry 3) Gayakward also continues, with a slip, short leg and silly mid-off for Perry. She looks dangerous when she draws the batters forward, but in that over Perry is mostly able to defend off the back foot.
25th over: Australia 70-2 (Lanning 32, Perry 2) Goswami has two slips, a gully and a deepish short leg for Perry, who has a moment of fortune when an inswinger takes the inside-edge and flies past leg stump. I think it went between her legs, an inadvertent Natmeg.
The players are back on the field. Jhulan Goswami, who has picked up both wickets, will start after tea.
“Why isn’t somebody stopping the loud whistling when Austalian batters are receiving the ball?” writes Brady Goff. “They are trying to distract our players!”
I haven’t noticed that but will keep an eye out, maybe even an ear.
24th over: Australia 69-2 (Lanning 32, Perry 1) Gayakward has changed ends to replace Vastrakar, who bowled an excellent spell of 6-2-15-0 and should have picked up Meg Lanning. Gayakward’s second ball is a fraction short, which allows Lanning to back cut her sixth boundary. And then Lanning is dropped off the last ball before tea! She was caught in two minds and got a big inside edge that hit Bhatia in the upper thigh. Yes that is a euphemism. I don’t think she got a glove on it in fact, so it wasn’t a drop. But it was another chance.
23rd over: Australia 65-2 (Lanning 28, Perry 1) That really was a majestic over from Goswami. By the time she was dismissed, Healy barely knew what day/night it was.
WICKET! Australia 63-2 (Healy c Bhatia b Goswami 29)
Sensational bowling from Jhulan Goswami! She was brought back into the attack and immediately gave Healy a working-over. Her second ball beat the inside edge, the third hit Healy on the arm - and the fourth took the edge as Healy fished tentatively outside off stump. The wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia did the rest.
22nd over: Australia 63-1 (Healy 29, Lanning 28) Lanning is too early on a pull stroke and gloves it into her helmet. She composes herself and square drives the next ball for four, a stroke of effortless class. It looks like this game is drifting towards a draw, though there’s still plenty to play for. Healy and Lanning will be eyeing a maiden Test century for a start.
21st over: Australia 59-1 (Healy 29, Lanning 24) Australia have started to use their feet against Gayakwad. Lanning comes down the track to consecutive deliveries, though she can’t pierce the off-side field. A single off the hip brings Healy on strike, and she cracks a short ball through the covers for two more. Healy, who is batting very responsibly, has 29 from 62 balls, Lanning 24 from 48.
20th over: Australia 56-1 (Healy 27, Lanning 23) Another quiet over from Vastrakar, just a leg-bye from it.
19th over: Australia 55-1 (Healy 27, Lanning 23) Healy comes down the track to Gayakwad but can only drive the ball straight back to the bowler. Gayakward is bowling delightfully, and it feels like something is going to give pretty soon.
18th over: Australia 54-1 (Healy 27, Lanning 22) Vastrakar continues to tempt the batters outside off stump. Healy must be itching to belt one of these deliveries through the covers, but for now she’s a model of restraint. A maiden.
17th over: Australia 54-1 (Healy 27, Lanning 22) This is delightful stuff from Gayakward, an artist at work. Both batters look suspicious of Gayakwad’s changes in flight - but Lanning is still alert enough to pull a long hop for four. Gayakwad has bowled two poor balls in her first three overs, and both have been punished.
16th over: Australia 50-1 (Healy 27, Lanning 18) Lanning is dropped by Deepti Sharma! She chased a wide outswinger from Vastrakar and flashed it towards gully, where Sharma put down a sharp chance to her left. Lanning has another lucky escape off the next ball, when a big leading edge goes high in the air and lands between extra cover and mid-off.
15th over: Australia 48-1 (Healy 26, Lanning 17) Gayakwad is flighting the ball beautifully. She beats Lanning with a lovely delivery that drifts in and turns past the outside edge, and the rest of the over is defended watchfully.
14th over: Australia 48-1 (Healy 26, Lanning 17) Healy turns Vastrakar round the corner for a couple, then gets a thick edge that drops well short of point. That will encourage Vastrakar though, as a slightly thinner edge would have gone to slip.
13th over: Australia 44-1 (Healy 23, Lanning 16) A double change, with the left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad replacing Goswami. Her first ball is a loosener that Healy pulls for four but the second is right on the money and takes the inside edge as Healy pushes forward a little tentatively.
12th over: Australia 39-1 (Healy 18, Lanning 16) The young swing bowler Pooja Vastrakar comes into the attack. Her second ball is too straight and flicked for a couple by Lanning, and three singles keep Australia ticking over. They look pretty comfortable at the moment - there has been a bit of swing under the lights but nowhere near as much as India would have hoped.
11th over: Australia 34-1 (Healy 14, Lanning 15) A rare short ball from Goswami is pulled disdainfully to the boundary by Lanning, who looks in great touch. If India are to have any chance, they need to dismiss her early. Time for drinks.
10th over: Australia 29-1 (Healy 13, Lanning 11) Thanks Megan, hello everyone. As I was easing into the OBO chair, Meg Lanning got her second boundary with a high-class cover drive off Meghna Singh. And that’s all I’m going to say at this juncture.
9th over: Australia 25-1 (Lanning 7, Healy 13) Lanning is back on strike to face Goswami, who is up and about after that wicket of Mooney. She starts very well with a very good length ball, right on the stumps. Lanning is taking her time to get settled, she’d be very aware of not giving away another wicket. The patience pays off and she flicks one off her pads for four and takes the pressure off herself a bit more. To be honest, I could probably watch Goswami bowl to Lanning all day, it’s an incredible battle. Five runs from the over and I’m going to hand you over to the sensational Rob Smyth.
8th over: Australia 20-1 (Lanning 2, Healy 13) Lots of enthusiasm from the Indian supporters in the crowd. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re making their presence felt. Healy keeps up her patient play - it’s unusual to see when we’re so used to her swashbuckling ODI and T20 innings. She won’t want to give away her wicket after losing Mooney early. A wider ball gives her an opportunity and she puts it away over the boundary - it’s a delightful shot through covers.
7th over: Australia 16-1 (Lanning 2, Healy 9) Thank goodness Perry being added to that list of players with 300 wickets and 5000 runs gives the commentators a chance to talk about men’s cricket, just what we needed. I’m looking forward to as much discussion of women’s cricket during the men’s season, that will be great to hear. Mooney’s wicket interrupts the reminiscence and we’re back to the game at hand with Lanning at the crease. She gets off the mark on the last ball of the over, nearly getting it over the rope, but it’s fielded nicely.
WICKET! Mooney b Goswami 4, Australia 14-1
The breakthrough from Goswami, she got Mooney playing all around the ball before those stumps lit up.
6th over: Australia 14-0 (Mooney 4, Healy 9) Here’s Singh again and it’s a very good short ball on the second ball of the over from her. Healy takes a swing at it, but luckily for her she doesn’t get an edge. She tries to replicate it but gives away a wide and then Healy gets a single on the next ball. A run out chance from Mandhana - a direct hit would have sent Healy back to the change room, but it misses the stumps.
5th over: Australia 11-0 (Mooney 3, Healy 8) Goswami is very consistent so far, her pitch map would be in trouble for lack of social distancing if it was wandering around in Sydney or Melbourne. Mooney grabs another quick single and then Healy works one nicely to backward square leg to rotate the strike again.
4th over: Australia 9-0 (Mooney 2, Healy 7) A beautiful sunset over Metricon this evening, much nicer scenes than we’ve had at this time for the past two nights. Mooney gets bat on ball early in the over and is very keen to push for a quick single. She’s known for being quick between the wickets and she’s brought the intent from the ODIs into the Test as well. It’s a fascinating contest at the moment, these two bowlers are asking a lot of questions and the batters are determined to answer them as often as possible.
3rd over: Australia 8-0 (Mooney 1, Healy 7) Goswami continues to bowl very full and doesn’t want to give Healy any room to move. There’s a big shout for LBW on the second ball, but the umpire isn’t interested, it’s outside the line. Healy is showing good patience, she looks much more settled than she did against Goswami in the ODIs, content to wait for her opportunities. It’s a maiden over from Goswami.
2nd over: Australia 8-0 (Mooney 1, Healy 7) Singh opens the bowling from the other end and Mooney gets her first chance to face up. It only takes her until the second ball of the over to get off the mark. There’s definite intent from both batters from the start. They’re not taking big risks, but they’re not on the defence either. India are pushing Healy right back in her crease, but she waits it out and doesn’t let it frustrate her and finds her opportunity eventually.
1st over: Australia 4-0 (Mooney 0, Healy 4) Here we go, India have Australia batting under lights and Goswami takes the first over. She’s picking up where she left off in the ODIs, with some very good line and length, cramping Healy right up in her crease. Healy gets her opportunity when Goswami throws in a half volley outside off stump and Healy will take that every time.
Wow, this was super quick from Stella Campbell when she dismissed Sharma.
India declare at 377-8
This is apparently the first time a touring women’s Test team has declared in Australia since 1984. So the first time in my lifetime, which is fun. The declaration probably came a little earlier than I was expecting - after they came back in after dinner I thought they’d go for a few more runs, especially with Goswami and Singh swinging a bit more freely. But it looks like they don’t want to tire out their two fast bowlers, so they call it a day and we’re ready for Australia to bat.
145th over: India 377-8 (Goswami 7, Singh 2) Perry starts the over with an absolute peach of a ball, that’s very unlucky not to get her wicket 301. It’s a more exciting phase of the game now, with pace from both ends and two tail enders looking to just make runs any way they can. Goswami gets a very unconventional boundary, getting herself all tangled up and swiping wildly over her head and it somehow manages to find the rope. Her next shot is more controlled, but Brown fields it easily on the boundary. Another LBW appeal on the second last ball of the over, but it’s not a convincing one. Singh steps away and gives herself a bit of room on the last with a big swing, but it’s just a single.
144th over: India 370-8 (Goswami 2, Singh 0) Campbell returns and gets it a little too full and wide to Sharma, who drives it back past the bowler for four immediately. Campbell follows it up with a very good short ball, a little slower than usual, and she picks up an uncontrolled top edge, but no one’s underneath and it races away for another four. I’m hesitant to say that Sharma is now in attacking mode, because I’ve thought that a few times before and she’s gone back in her shell. But it doesn’t matter too much anyway because Campbell gets her LBW next ball and Meghna Singh comes to the crease. Campbell welcomes her with a very good length ball that stays quite low and Singh looks uncomfortable with the speed.
WICKET! Sharma lbw Campbell 66, India 369-8
Sharma shows some intent in this over and smacks Campbell for consecutive boundaries, but Campbell gets the last laugh and removes the set batter.
143rd over: India 361-7 (Goswami 2, Sharma 57) We started this over before dinner and Perry seemed to know it was her time to strike. India certainly didn’t want to lose a wicket and there were some questions over whether India would declare during the break. Perry may have thrown a spanner in the works by taking a wicket there, triggering the dinner break, it looks like India want to bat a few more overs and put some more runs on the board. Goswami starts cautiously, so it’s not going to be an all out assault from ball one. But after a couple of balls she gets off the mark with a thick outside edge.
And if you’re in the mood for a bit more Ellyse Perry before we return from the break, here’s a nice little montage of some of the big highlights from her 300 wickets.
If you missed Perry’s 300th wicket and Mooney’s classic catch that expedited it, you should definitely watch this video at least 5-10 times during this dinner break.
Dinner, India 359-7
A very interesting first session today. I think everyone watching (including me) was bouncing back and forth around whether India were about to accelerate, desperately looking for signals in body language and shots. They were keeping their cards very close to their chest though and now we wait and see whether they will declare during the dinner break. It seems unlikely, especially with that late wicket from Perry, but stranger things have happened in this sport. From all reports the Australians are desperate to bat and perhaps that is influencing Mithali Raj’s thinking - frustrate them in the field for as long as possible and maybe they’ll come out to bat full of pent up rage and throw their wickets away?
WICKET! Vastrakar c Mooney b Perry 13, India 359-7
Perry gets her 300th wicket for Australia with a brilliant diving catch by Mooney. We’re only two balls into the over, but the wicket serves as a good break in time and we’re off for dinner now.
142nd over: India 358-6 (Vastrakar 13, Sharma 57) Another over for Gardner and it’s a controlled start. India are looking very comfortable right now, they appear to be happy to bat this out and make sure they’re no chance of a loss.
141st over: India 356-6 (Vastrakar 12, Sharma 56) Perry is back into the attack from the other end, she’ll be looking to take a wicket before the dinner break, which isn’t far away. She’s not quite hitting her line and length as well as she was in her last spell, but she’s still very economical. Late in the over she looks like she’s found her rhythm again, her next over will be interesting.
140th over: India 355-6 (Vastrakar 11, Sharma 56) Gardner returns to the attack for her 29th over of the match. Vastrakar smashes one straight back at her and Gardner puts it down. She’ll be very disappointed with that, it’s definitely a huge missed opportunity. Perhaps a bit rattled by that, Gardner bowls one a little too wide and right in Sharma’s hitting zone and she slog sweeps it for four.
139th over: India 350-6 (Vastrakar 10, Sharma 52) Campbell has brought her line in a touch and it looks more like drawing in the batters. Sharma picks one off with a nice square drive that doesn’t go all the way to the boundary, but it’s a nice shot. It shouldn’t worry Campbell too much though, she’s better off making them play shots than letting them defend right now.
138th over: India 348-6 (Vastrakar 10, Sharma 50) Wareham is putting some good flight on the ball, trying to tempt the batters into a loose shot, but Vastrakar takes her time and waits for one she can hit and she drives it down past long off for four. Finally Sharma gets her chance for her half century and she takes it.
FIFTY! Deepti Sharma, India 348-6
It’s taken her a while to get off 49, but she plays one around the corner to third and brings it up at last.
137th over: India 342-6 (Vastrakar 5, Sharma 49) Campbell continues and she’s still getting up around 120km/hr and Sharma is still playing it very safe. Campbell is being creative in her approaches, she doesn’t look like it’s only her second game for Australia and her first Test.
136th over: India 342-6 (Vastrakar 5, Sharma 49) Sharma has clearly seen enough of Wareham now and knows what she wants to do, sweeping strongly for a boundary from the first ball of the over. She cuts it hard past cover a couple of balls later, but it’s just a single and she’s still one short of her 50.
135th over: India 337-6 (Vastrakar 5, Sharma 44) Campbell starts the over beautifully, just missing Sharma’s outside edge. Sharma goes for a big pull shot off the second ball, but she doesn’t get hold of it and it’s just a single. Campbell comes around the wicket later in the over to change things up a little. She then throws in a short ball, she’s determined not to let them settle into her over at all. A short ball on the last nearly gets Vastrakar’s wicket - Campbell is making things happen out there.
134th over: India 334-6 (Vastrakar 4, Sharma 42) Finally Wareham is into the attack - her first over for the day and her sixth for the Test so far. What can she do to get this match moving? Vastrakar plays a couple of aggressive shots early, but she sends them straight to the field. Wareham is getting some good flight on the ball and it’s definitely giving the batters something new to think about.
133rd over: India 334-6 (Vastrakar 4, Sharma 42) If I sound like I keep changing my mind about whether India are attacking or not, it’s because I am. Every so often it looks like they’re about to take the game on and go for a win they back off again, I can’t quite get a grasp of what they’re thinking right now. Campbell is still bowling quite wide outside off stump - I’m not sure the batters are going to be lured into swiping at those deliveries.
132nd over: India 334-6 (Vastrakar 4, Sharma 42) Sharma starts to push the pace a little bit, she sends one almost all the way to the rope, just saved by Gardner on the boundary. She takes the next ball on and this time does manage to get it over the boundary.
131st over: India 327-6 (Vastrakar 4, Sharma 35) Campbell is showing plenty of intent and still pushing through her very fast deliveries. She’s getting them very wide outside off stump this over, but it’s not luring Sharma in, she’s happy to let those ones go. Finally she gets one in her zone and pulls it nicely, but it’s only a single. Vastrakar isn’t interested in taking any chances either and ducks under the final ball of the over.
130th over: India 326-6 (Vastrakar 4, Sharma 34) Sharma is really giving Vastrakar every opportunity to get off the mark, getting her on strike early in each over, but Vastrakar isn’t in any hurry. Finally she finds her opportunity and drives one very straight back past the bowler and over the boundary for four.
129th over: India 321-6 (Vastrakar 0, Sharma 33) Campbell starts her second over of the day and Sharma escapes the strike very quickly. Campbell is getting some very fast deliveries down the pitch. There’s a big appeal for caught behind from a short ball, but the umpire turns it down and it looks to have just flown over the edge of the bat.
128th over: India 320-6 (Vastrakar 0, Sharma 32) After the excitement of that over, we’re back to the Molineux v Sharma stalemate, lots of very nice line and length balls and patient defensive shots. There’s a bit of hurry on the fourth with a quick single taken and Campbell with a good throw at the stumps. Molineux comes around the stumps to Vastrakar and restricts her well.
127th over: India 319-6 (Vastrakar 0, Sharma 31) Campbell comes into the attack and Sharma takes a single immediately, but Bhatia isn’t so lucky and departs on the second ball of the over with a little outside edge going through to Healy. Campbell is getting some nice shape and is bowling over 120km/hr so she’s adding some spice to this session. She throws in an aggressive short ball late in the over that troubles Vastrakar a little, she doesn’t look overly comfortable with the speed.
WICKET! Bhatia c Healy b Campbell 22, India 319-6
Well what a great bowling change! Campbell gets a quick ball in and Bhatia nicks it through to the keeper and finally Australia have the wicket they’ve been looking for.
126th over: India 318-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 30) Molineux continues and Sharma is still just waiting for her opportunities, sweeping one away on the third ball of the over, but it’s just a single to deep square leg. Bhatia also plays defensively, looking a little more aggressive on the final ball of the over and moving her feet to the ball, but she just plays it back to the bowler for a dot.
125th over: India 317-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 29) Another tight start to the over for Sutherland, putting plenty of dot ball pressure on the batters, but whether or not they’re feeling that as pressure right now is another question. Sharma runs a single on the last and looks unbothered by the scoring rate.
124th over: India 316-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 28) Bhatia had a bit of attention from the physio during the drinks break, now sporting some strapping on her left thumb. Molineux starts the over with a very nice ball that pops up to slips but again it goes down from Lanning’s hands. It was only a half chance, but they would have been delighted to get a wicket right now. It doesn’t seem too much like that predicted scoring surge from India after drinks is coming, just one run from the over.
Drinks are on the field now, so go and refuel however you prefer and we’ll see you back here very soon!
123rd over: India 315-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 27) Sharma gives the Australians a little chance early in the over with a nick to slips, but it’s just out of Lanning’s reach and races away. Good fielding stops it going for four and puts pressure on Sharma’s running as well. She guides another one away for a single to rotate the strike, something that hasn’t been happening with too much regularity today.
122nd over: India 312-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 24) Molineux is doing a good job at stopping Bhatia getting into position to play the shots she wants. Bhatia is making a few moves on to the back foot, where she feels very comfortable, but Molineux’s line is enough to stop it being an easy shot and it’s another maiden.
121st over: India 312-5 (Bhatia 22, Sharma 24) Sutherland shows a bit more aggression in this over, with a big short ball on the second, but Bhatia gets it away. Big moment late in the over when Sharma nicks a little one and it goes very close to hitting the stumps and Sharma on instinct sticks her bat out to prevent it, but luckily pulls away and the ball just misses the stumps!
120th over: India 311-5 (Bhatia 21, Sharma 24) There’s some speculation that India may be taking things cautiously and trying not to lose a wicket for the first hour and then look to accelerate, put on a good total and get Australia in batting under lights. Drinks are about 30 minutes away now, so it will be interesting to see if that eventuates. Sharma plays a couple of nice shots, but they go straight to the field. There’s a little mix up in the middle of the over and it looks like there might be a run out chance, but Sharma hustles back to her crease very quickly. She goes for the big sweep shot next and nearly plays it on to her stumps, but fortunately for her she doesn’t quite get hold of it.
119th over: India 311-5 (Bhatia 21, Sharma 24) Sutherland has some real intent to take a wicket here. She looks like she’s trying to frustrate them into swinging wildly, but it might backfire on her, because she’s looking more frustrated than the batters - they’re quite content to keep the brakes on for now. She takes the single when it’s on offer from the fifth ball of the over, which is the first run scored from Sutherland’s bowling today. Bhatia defends the final ball of the over back to her.
118th over: India 310-5 (Bhatia 21, Sharma 23) Molineux continues with her economical spin and Bhatia is back into defensive mode. A second maiden in a row is a little troubling for India, they will need to pick up their pace soon.
117th over: India 310-5 (Bhatia 21, Sharma 23) Sutherland starts with a couple of wide-ish deliveries outside off and Sharma eyes them very cautiously. Sharma tries to get one away in the middle of the over, but it’s fielded very well and there’s not even a single on offer. It’s another maiden from Sutherland, a good start from her today.
116th over: India 310-5 (Bhatia 21, Sharma 23) Molineux is on to bowl for the first time today. She keeps her length quite full to start and the batters play her cautiously, but a misfield on the fifth ball gets Bhatia a couple of runs, but there’s no more to be scored from this over.
115th over: India 308-5 (Bhatia 19, Sharma 23) Sutherland is on to bowl now, so it looks like Gardner may need a little break from bowling with the shoulder discomfort she appeared to be experiencing. Sutherland is getting a bit of movement out of the pitch and is giving the batters something else to think about after settling into Gardner and Perry’s rhythm and starting to score a few runs from them. Sutherland starts with a maiden as the batters take a look at her.
114th over: India 308-5 (Bhatia 19, Sharma 23) Perry starts the over very well with a nice length ball coming around the wicket. She lets them off the hook on the third ball, with another front foot no ball and a misfield from Healy on the next gives away another extra. Bhatia plays a beautiful shot through covers late in the over, but Gardner puts in a great chase and limits the batters to just two runs when it looked for all money to be heading for the rope. The following ball she finds the same gap again, but it’s not quite as well hit this time.
113th over: India 302-5 (Bhatia 15, Sharma 23) Well Sharma does seem to be proving me right, from the second ball of the over she gets down and sweeps one over the boundary for four. Gardner appears to be experiencing a bit of discomfort in her shoulder, so we’ll keep an eye on that. Sharma takes a nice quick single, which is another good sign of intent from these two batters.
112th over: India 297-5 (Bhatia 15, Sharma 18) There’s a subtle shift after those two boundaries in the previous over and the body language from the Indian batters is a bit more positive and proactive. They’re still finding it hard to get Perry away, but there is definite intent and they’re not immediately getting into a defensive stance as the ball leaves her hands, which was happening earlier. It will be interesting to see if they start to accelerate in the coming overs.
111th over: India 296-5 (Bhatia 15, Sharma 17) Bhatia seizes her opportunity from the first ball when Gardner bowls one short and wide and she cuts it beautifully past deep point for four. Gardner tightens up for the remainder of the over, but then Bhatia is able to find another gap and pick up another boundary from the final ball of the over.
110th over: India 288-5 (Bhatia 7, Sharma 17) Perry starts with an aggressive shortish ball, but Sharma steers it away for a single towards third. There’s a big appeal for LBW on the second ball, but the umpire isn’t too interested in it. Bhatia plays a nice shot to follow, opening up the face of the bat and driving it neatly to cover. Another big appeal on the last, but the ball appears to have pitched outside leg.
109th over: India 286-5 (Bhatia 6, Sharma 16) Sharma is also shaping up very defensively to Gardner, they appear to be looking at her as the big threat and they don’t want to take any chances against her. Finally on the fifth ball, Gardner gives her something she thinks she can hit and she goes for a big sweep that goes up in the air, but falls safely and just picks up a single.
108th over: India 285-5 (Bhatia 6, Sharma 15) Perry is still bowling really nicely, but is starting to look a little frustrated. Australia are clearly in an attacking mindset and want to take wickets, but India aren’t on the same page. It takes until the fifth ball for Sharma to take a quick single and then Perry’s frustration comes out and she bowls a full toss to Bhatia, who isn’t able to take advantage and put it away.
107th over: India 284-5 (Bhatia 6, Sharma 14) Bhatia still appears to be playing with a very defensive mindset. She’s seeing the ball coming in from Gardner and setting up immediately for a forward defensive shot, she looks unwilling to take any risks right now. Australia look to intimidate, bringing a couple of fielders up to crowd her, but Bhatia finally sees her chance and steers it past third for four - Molineux makes a good chase, but can’t stop it getting past the rope.
106th over: India 280-5 (Bhatia 2, Sharma 14) Perry has found her line and length now, she’s not looking at all like the rattled bowler she was in the ODIs. She’s making it very difficult for Sharma to score, putting the ball right at her toes and making her look uncomfortable. The question is whether she will be able to frustrate the batters into getting out of their comfort zone to try to hit her, or if they’ll be content to play defensive shots and take the runs when Perry misses her line a little. Healy makes a great dive off the last ball, but it drops a little short and it’s not out.
105th over: India 280-5 (Bhatia 2, Sharma 14) There’s an LBW appeal from the first ball of the over, perhaps the Australians realised they missed a trick the previous over? This one isn’t as good a chance as Perry’s though and it’s not given. A little bit more hurry up from Sharma and Bhatia this over, dashing for a quick single that they wouldn’t have taken in the last couple of overs.
104th over: India 279-5 (Bhatia 2, Sharma 13) Perry bowls this one, starting well with Bhatia still not in any hurry to get off the mark. It looks like an LBW from the third ball of the over, but there’s no appeal - it seems Perry and her teammates thought Bhatia had got bat on it. A misfield from Molineux finally gives Bhatia her chance and she takes two runs from the over.
103rd over: India 277-5 (Bhatia 0, Sharma 13) Gardner comes on to bowl and Sharma plays her pretty conservatively to start with a couple of defensive shots, some little cover drives, but not pushing the run rate forward.
102nd over: India 276-5 (Bhatia 0, Sharma 13) There was one ball left to play in this over after the lightning cut the over short, so just a quick one tonight! I always feel like this is a bit of a Jumanji situation, with McGrath stuck in some kind of bowling loop since play ended last night, so I’m glad she finally got to finish it at last. Hopefully she’ll get some sleep tonight. Sharma is on strike for this ball and starts with a single.
Kirby Short on Fox Cricket says the ground is looking good and the famous Metricon drainage has lived up to its reputation. If the lightning hadn’t been a factor last night, the game would have been able to resume, which is pretty remarkable after all that rain and hail that fell! The pitch is apparently quite similar to day two, a little less green than day one, but still quite bouncy and should make for an interesting day’s play.
Some big chats going on among the Australian team this morning. They’re recognising today as the absolute key to getting a result out of this Test, so expect to see plenty of intensity from ball one.
So, the state of play from when we left off. It was not long after Sutherland got that remarkable run out of Mithali Raj. Taniya Bhatia faced 13 balls without scoring, she didn’t look to be any hurry to score. It will be interesting to see if she’s going to get a bit more of a hurry on today and push for a win.
From Australia’s point of view, Tayla Vlaeminck speaking on Fox Sports says the team are optimistic about the bounce of the wicket today and are hoping to be able to rip through the tail and get out there to bat fairly soon. So it sounds like they will be taking the aggressive route to look for the win, but if India go into defensive mode, that task will be much more difficult.
Well, it’s bit a very mixed start to this Test so far. There have been passages of exciting play, long periods of slow scoring and of course, the near constant threat of rain. Storms interrupted play on the first two days, which of course significantly decreases the likelihood of a result, especially considering it’s only a four day Test. Could this be the argument to push five day Tests for women over the line? I certainly hope so.
As for what we’re likely to see today, I think we’ll be able to tell pretty early if India are planning to go for the win, or play it safe and take the draw. A win for India would be huge in the context of the series, but with four points on the line, there’s a chance neither team will want to take the risk and instead will look to capture the series in the T20s. I really hope that isn’t the case, because I love exciting Test matches and teams that go for a result. If you were following the live blog yesterday during the rain delay you may have noticed that my favourite Test is Australia v England in 2011, when Australia under Alex Blackwell’s captaincy declared behind and went on to win. I’m hoping we see something bold and exciting from one or both teams out there today!
From all reports up at the Gold Coast, today is a warm, sunny day with no storms on the horizon, so let’s see if we can get 100+ overs in today. Only 30 mins until the first ball, so it’s time to get into it!