All of which means that India might well come back strong tomorrow night. That will be the final match of this multiformat series, and we’ll be here with it for you as ever. That’s it from me. Goodnight.
As for India... they really let that one slip. They were gone for all money while batting, until Vastrakar went to town in the last few overs and got them 118. Then it was Shikha Pandey starting off with a magic spell that got Australia rattled. Then came Rajeshwari Gayakwad, 3 for 21 from her four overs.
That was when the mistakes began. Carey was out in the 17th over to Gayakwad. India had just got away with an over from the seamer Renuka Singh that only cost six runs. Spin was clearly the way to go. Deepti and Harmanpreet had both been going at less than six an over, and each had two overs left. Yet instead of bowling spin, Harmanpreet went to pace. That was easier for the Australians to hit, instead of having to make pace on the ball. The field was also overly defensive to new players coming in, letting Carey and Wareham get away.
Australia may still have won against spin, but those last few overs could have been so much more difficult than they were.
But as has been the case all series, these Indian players do not know when they’re beaten. They’ve kept fighting in every match after the first ODI.
Australia win the series 9-5
What a way to make a living. That is fine, fine work from Tahlia McGrath especially. She has been a fringe player across other formats through her career so far, and hadn’t even played T20s for Australia until this week. But her innings of 74 was key to winning the second ODI supporting Mooney, and her unbeaten 42 was the matchwinning hand tonight. She has been the key player in Australia’s series win.
Australia thought they were in for an easy night when they had India 81-9, but India made it a very tough one. The fact they’ve found a way through that challenge will be very satisfying to Australia.
19.1 overs: Australia 119-6 (McGrath 42, Wareham 10) That’s it. McGrath hits Vastrakar into her own pad and away into the off side, and races through for the final required run.
Five balls to spare, four wickets in hand.
19th over: Australia 118-6 (McGrath 41, Wareham 10) Yep, it’s going Australia’s way. Renuka Singh is given the ball. A full toss, McGrath walking at it to make it even higher. And hits it dead straight over the bowler for four.
Next ball, walks again, out through cover for four!
Full toss on the pads, flicked for two. They only need a boundary to win now. They take a few singles instead. And scores are level.
18th over: Australia 105-6 (McGrath 29, Wareham 9) Shikha Pandey, who started off this Indian bowling and fielding performance, to bowl her fourth over. Some shot from Tahlia McGrath, stepping right across her stumps and smacking through wide long-on, but the fielder is there and keeps her to one run.
Second ball, Wareham plays and misses!
24 from 16 required.
Wareham drives square for four! Almost saved at point, but just wide. Then a really poor piece of fielding from Deepti running around from deep cover. Goes down with one hand and misses the ball, as we saw so many Indian fielders do during the ODIs.
Too much space available for Wareham on the off side to score. She gets McGrath back on strike. Hits hard and straight but for one run.
Wareham back on strike. And she hits another four! Out through extra cover this time. Another fumble on the rope, Vastrakar this time, a harder save but could have been done. Or they might have had a deep cover in place. Wareham scores in that area a lot.
Should be Australia’s match from here: 14 from 12.
17th over: Australia 94-6 (McGrath 27, Wareham 0) That’s another busy over. It should have started with a run out: when Carey hits directly to Verma quite short at midwicket and runs. Verma though fires in a hard throw at the non-striker’s stumps instead of throwing to Gayakwad, the bowler. Misses. McGrath gets strike. And pulls for four! Really lays into that shot, through square leg between the fielders.
Fourth ball though is the stumping. Almost more important than the wicket is that it’s a dot. Two more dots follow, as Georgia Wareham hits twice to the off-side field.
WICKET! Carey st Ghosh b Gayakwad 7, Australia 94-6
Innnnteresting! I was just thinking earlier how clean Ghosh has been while keeping up to the stumps. This time she fumbles the stumping. Carey down the pitch, beaten by the left-armer. But Ghosh drops the ball onto the stumps. Lucky, but the wicket counts just as much as if she’d done it perfectly.
16th over: Australia 88-5 (McGrath 22, Carey 6) Seamers back. Renuka Singh with two overs left. Will the extra pace help Australia score? Single first ball for McGrath, flicked off her pads. A long wait while Harmanpreet sets the field for the left-handed Carey. Three boundary riders on the leg side, and deep cover. Yorker, but clipped out to deep midwicket and Carey can run two. Harmanpreet comes inside the circle at midwicket. Which makes sure the very next ball is kept to one run.
Slower ball from Renuka, knocked square by McGrath, almost back for a second but doesn’t risk it. Fifth ball, in at the pads of Carey, who is falling over as she digs it out to midwicket and can’t score. And a rushed single to mid-off to finish.
Six runs from that over. 31 off 24 the equation. Australia very much close enough to strike. Need one of those batter-scrambling overs with a wicket and a series of dot balls to stretch it out.
15th over: Australia 82-5 (McGrath 20, Carey 2) Harmanpreet is back to bowl. Can be a bit hard to read. It’s a gamble. Starts nicely. Single, dot. But bowls too wide from the third ball. That is McGrath’s absolute sweet spot, the cover drive, and she’s got the long arms to reach out to that width and smoke it. Beats cover in the circle, beats Yastika Bhatia running around from long-off.
Harmanpreet tightens right up thereafter, in at the stumps for two dots, then short and a cut to deep point for one. Less than the required rate despite a boundary, two overs in a row.
37 off 30.
14th over: Australia 76-5 (McGrath 15, Carey 1) Nicola Carey to the middle, single first ball. Flight to McGrath, an edge, and four! Would have been caught by a slip. Maybe Harmanpreet could afford to attack that bit more, with the left-arm spinner turning it away from the right-hander. Gayakwad pins down McGrath though, three dots to end the over, five runs from it.
To win: 43 runs from 36 balls.
WICKET! Mooney st Ghosh b Gayakwad 34, Australia 71-5
THAT’S THE ONE! India will not quit! Mooney goes. She wants to take on the left-arm spinner. Down the track first ball of the over. Not sure if Gayakwad predicted that, or saw a tell from Mooney, but the bowler drags it well short. Mooney gets nowhere near the pitch of the ball. Misses it utterly, and is no chance to dive back into her ground.
13th over: Australia 71-4 (Mooney 34, McGrath 11) Vastrakar into her third over. Mooney not trying anything expansive. Back-cut straight to backward point. Advances and drives to deep cover but only for one. McGrath takes the onus on herself. Slaps a length ball through mid-on for four. So nearly caught, but hits the gap between mid-on and midwicket, both in the ring, to perfection. Accidentally, it was something of a miscue. But runs are runs.
That means 9 from the over, 48 off 42 needed.
12th over: Australia 62-4 (Mooney 30, McGrath 6) Deepti to bowl. Mooney vital. Six runs from Deepti’s over, just knocked around here and there. She gets away with one down the leg side to McGrath, who knocks it towards fine leg. Could have hit that for four. Or could have left it, got an extra for the wide, and got another ball to potentially hit for four.
57 from 48 required.
11th over: Australia 56-4 (Mooney 28, McGrath 4) Vastrakar back with the ball, and what a brilliant over she produces. Has McGrath dropped behind the stumps. Can’t blame Ghosh for that one, she sees the ball tailing in, moves towards the leg side, then McGrath guides it off the outside edge towards first slip. Ghosh flings out her right arm but can only parry it down. The next ball, it’s Mooney’s edge, and this one lands just in front of the keeper’s gloves. Three runs from the over.
63 from 54 required.
10th over: Australia 53-4 (Mooney 27, McGrath 2) Just as it was in that second ODI, Beth Mooney is the central player for Australia. And just as in that match, Tahlia McGrath joins her to help out. Pushes a single. Mooney sweeps another four! Outside leg again, and she sweeps fine. Beats the short fine.
Deepti pulls out of her bowling action... and I think she was looking to see what Mooney would do, but I also think McGrath was out of her ground. A little run-out of the non-striker would light up proceedings.
Runs required: 66 from 60 balls.
WICKET! Perry c Harmanpreet b Deepti 2, Australia 46-4
Perry Air! She hits it airborne, and leaping up at cover, the Indian captain snaffles it above her head. Deepti Sharma the bowler, floating an off-break out wide, Perry down on one knee trying to scythe the cover drive over the top. Game on.
9th over: Australia 46-3 (Mooney 22, Perry 2) Gayakward continuing, and should have been a run out! Perry knocks it to cover where Vastrakar misfields. Mooney starts running and calls her through. Perry slow to start. Vastrakar fast to recover. But her throw is too far wide of the stumps for Ghosh to get the bails off quickly. Had that throw been better, or had Vastrakar gone to the bowler’s end, one of these two would have been out. Mooney sweeps the final ball for four.
Australia need 73 from 66.
8th over: Australia 38-3 (Mooney 16, Perry 0) The next key wicket, Ellyse Perry. When you need a calm run chase at about 6 an over, she’s your player.
81 from 72 balls required.
WICKET! Gardner c Gayakward b Harmanpreet 1, Australia 38-3
This is... interesting. Harry Kaur has brought herself on to bowl. Liquorice allsorts spin. Not sure about the move when the ball has been swinging and the seamers have been dangerous.
But it works! A few singles, then the fifth ball of the over is genuine trash. Dragged down, sitting up, waiting to be smashed. Gardner obliges, cutting outside off stump. But in the air and straight to point. Massive for India.
7th over: Australia 35-2 (Mooney 14, Gardner 0) Key to this match is Ash Gardner. She’s been in great touch, she’s the most attacking player in this Australian team, and a quick 30 or 40 from her could end this match. But if India get her cheaply...
She defends her first three balls, settling into the game. Two runs, one wicket, from the over.
84 needed from 78.
WICKET! Lanning c Ghosh b Gayakwad 15, Australia 35-2
Gone! Done in the air by the left-arm spinner! Gayakwad comes on as soon as the field can go back. She hangs one up in the air, drawing Lanning down the wicket, and she’s just not quite to the pitch. Enough turn from Gayakwad to beat the shot, and Lanning would have been stumped by a metre except that she’s also nicked the ball through to Richa Ghosh.
6th over: Australia 33-1 (Mooney 13, Lanning 14) Vastrakar’s turn with the ball now, and while Lanning hits her down the ground for four first ball, she responds by jagging one away from the edge. Third ball, swerves in the air away from her! It’s on the line of the stumps, then swings away late, beating her edge and hitting her hip on the day down to deep third. They run a leg bye for evasive action, but that wasn’t evasion, that was just not knowing where the ball was.
Serious stuff from Vastrakar, but she lets herself down with a short ball to Mooney with two players inside the circle behind point. Mooney just helps it over the top of them for four.
Good bowling, but the runs have kept coming anyway. Now the Australians are through the powerplay, nine wickets in hand, and needing a run a ball. India need more wickets to keep the pressure on.
5th over: Australia 24-1 (Mooney 9, Lanning 10) Classic Meg Lanning. She’s got two backward points in place, and she threads it between them for four. A partial misfield in there, but that’s her spot. Shikha Pandey responds with the same ball that got Healy, almost a replica! But a few inches shorter, so it clears the bails. Goodness me.
Fourth of the over, into the pads and Lanning edges it. Then another that hoops in and Lanning launches into it, wanting to counter-attack, and hits it high over mid-on where it lands safely and stops. Two runs. Followed by a wide and a single. Australia might just have weathered the storm.
4th over: Australia 16-1 (Mooney 9, Lanning 3) Brilliant again from Renuka Singh. Has Mooney walking at her and missing, then staying put and edging to deep third. Has Lanning hit on the pad but missing leg stump, then playing at her feet and about seven Indian fielders swarm at the ball. They are switched on! Keen. It’s tense out there. But Mooney punctures it a bit by swinging across the line, first for two runs to wide long on, then four behind square.
3rd over: Australia 8-1 (Mooney 2, Lanning 2) Three singles, then Mooney finds herself marooned against Pandey as well. This time the swing going away from the lefty, who after edging through about third slip earlier in the over, keeps getting squared up just trying to get bat to ball and play it down into the ground. She’s beaten comprehensively by a ball that misses the off stump by a fraction, then tries to hit over midwicket and hangs it up in the air, landing just beyond that fielder for a single.
2nd over: Australia 4-1 (Mooney 0, Lanning 0) Renuka Singh bowls to Mooney... and that is a scoreless over! Six dots in a row, in the powerplay. That is gold for India. All angled across the left-hander, but keeping the line tight, and with the early wicket Mooney decides to play it safe.
1st over: Australia 4-1 (Mooney 0, Lanning 0) Couple of balls later, another inswinger hits Lanning in front. I would have given that out, after seeing the previous one. Ball-tracking says it hit just outside the line. That’s some opening over from Pandey.
WICKET! Healy b Pandey 4, Australia 4-1
Absolute magic from Shikha Pandey! She can swing the ball, and never any more savagely or to greater effect than that! This ball starts way outside off stump. Initially, it looks like it’s going to hold its line and then swing away. Then - surely this is an optical illusion? - it looks like it has changed course, gone the other way. It swerves, like the target in a car chase, back in towards Healy. Beats her by an absolute mile, and hits the bail between middle and off stumps.
Wow. Just wow.
Second innings begins...
Australia must chase 119 to win
First of all, what a finish from Pooja Vastrakar. All seemed lost at 81 for 9, she’s got eight teammates who made single-figure scores tonight, but she kept cool to smack 37 from 26 balls tonight, including a number of declined runs, and give India six per over to defend.
She doesn’t have a WBBL contract, unlike eight of her squad mates, but there are a couple of teams with an overseas spot left. Go on.
Gayakwad played her part, too, in staying there to let Vastrakar keep batting.
That gives India something to work with. It should be Australia’s match, their batting power should do this easily, but there’s just a chance. A run a ball can be defended if a couple of wickets fall early and the pressure comes on.
The chase will come round in a minute.
20th over: India 118-9 (Vastrakar 37, Gayakwad 0) Darlington to close. Vastrakar clears her front leg and savages it down the ground! Darlington just ducks, and it goes a metre or so over her head and splits the two boundary riders straight.
Really slow to follow from Darlington, and Vastrakar finds long-off. Doesn’t run.
Third ball, backs away, carves over cover! Deserves four but McGrath puts in a fine dive, parries towards Carey, and keeps them to two.
Vastrakar back on strike, and she hits down the ground for six! Flat-batted, that one, not much sophistication but plenty of distance hitting off a length. All power.
Two balls to come. Darlington looks nervous. Tosses the ball hand to hand. Pace off. Vastrakar gets a top edge but it lands safely in front of long-off, and they don’t run. Might even have run two there if they’d gone immediately.
Last one of the night... Vastrakar charges and pulls four! Out through midwicket, could have been stopped on the rope but it gets through Gardner on the dive.
19th over: India 102-9 (Vastrakar 21, Gayakwad 0) No running for Vastrakar. Down on one knee, trying to smash Molineux over midwicket, but instead straight to long-off. The run is declined. She goes squarer next ball, into a gap and back for two. Down the ground again, and again no run taken. A bit of flight from Molineux, and the helicopter from Vastrakar, wrist-whipping the ball to long-on and this time does take the single. Gayakwad is hit on the pad but it’s probably angling down leg, not out.
18th over: India 99-9 (Vastrakar 18, Gayakwad 0) Smashed by Vastrakar! Length from Carey but she’s able to get underneath it, lifted down the ground and way over the rope, just inside the fence at this ground. Next ball, rocks back and hammers it through cover for four! Flat and fierce. That helps. Takes a single from the third ball. Carey chips in with a ride to the No11 Rajeshwari Gayakwad. The batter plays a Test match leave to the next ball... then sees one go down the leg side for five wides! Off Healy’s fingertips, the keeper up to the stumps for her seamer. So Gayakwad has helped add six runs just by standing there. Prods the next to point, no run. One to come. And defends! Bat and pad together in classic style.
So the chase will be three figures, at least, and Vastrakar can swing at the last two overs.
WICKET! Renuka Singh b Molineux 1, India 81-9
17th over: India 81-9 (Vastrakar 7) Molineux bowling, and now it’s not especially fair, all of the work being left to the tail. The best they can do is squeeze a few singles, and Renuka Singh ends the over by having a big drive and missing another ball aimed at the stumps.
WICKET! Pandey b Gardner 1, India 78-8
16th over: India 78-8 (Vastrakar 5) Another one! Last ball of the over, Shikha Pandey backs away to make room, hoping for something short, then sees the ball turning in at her stumps. Tries to force off the back foot but misses.
WICKET! Deepti run out (Perry) 16, India 76-7
Another run out! And we don’t know who has been dismissed, as they end up at the same end. Again it’s the second run that brings them undone. Deepti Sharma clips to deep midwicket. Touches in, turns for the second, then bails out and turns back. But Vastrakar keeps running, and in her full-tilt sprint to make it to the striker’s end, she touches her bat in fractionally before Deepti does. It takes a photo-finish adjudication to decide who is out. Calamitous.
15th over: India 75-6 (Deepti 15, Vastrakar 4) And when you’re India, and you want to cut loose through the dying overs, you come against Hannah Darlington. All she’s done for long periods of her WBBL career is run in and hit yorkers. Changes of pace, really hard to smash away. So she does just that here, three singles and a leg bye.
14th over: India 71-6 (Deepti 13, Vastrakar 3) Carey continuing, and Vastrakar is doing her job, finding singles promptly when she comes on strike. Deepti can hit big, but she often takes quite a long time to get set, and soaks up a lot of bowling first. Can’t afford that in this situation. Drives a couple out to deep extra cover. Fakes a back-away, then dinks a single off her pads. Vastrakar taps another to mid-off and bolts.
13th over: India 65-6 (Deepti 9, Vastrakar 1) Deepti misses a sweep shot, hit on the forearm in front of the stumps by Gardner, but that would have been bouncing above the bails. Just a few singles trickling from the over. India in strife.
With 42 balls left, even if they cut sick from here they’ll struggle to reach 120. Could easily be held under 100.
WICKET! Ghosh b Carey 2, India 61-5
12th over: India 61-6 (Deepti 8) The slide continues for India! Nicola Carey bowls a really tidy over, dot ball pressure, and having already faced nine balls for 2, Ghosh is desperate to score. Walks at Carey, tries to hit over mid-off, misses, and Carey’s main characteristic with the ball is bowling straight at the stumps.
11th over: India 60-5 (Ghosh 2, Deepti 7) Wareham continues, and Deepti sweeps her fine with finesse, getting low and helping it around the corner. Deft.
10th over: India 53-5 (Ghosh 1, Deepti 1) Halfway mark. Gardner has bowled two overs for 6 runs. Deepti Sharma is in the middle.
WICKET! Bhatia run out (Wareham) 8, India 53-5
They’re not together for long. Ghosh clips towards midwicket and they run the first. Bhatia turns for a second, Ghosh bails out, but too late for Bhatia to turn and get back to the striker’s end. India chucking this series away.
9th over: India 50-4 (Bhatia 7, Ghosh 0) The two young guns then, Yastika Bhatia and Richa Ghosh together.
WICKET! Harmanpreet st Healy b Wareham 28, India 50-4
That’s beautiful bowling! Wareham has not been backed by Lanning lately, and only got a bowl very late in the innings on Thursday night. She comes on earlier here and picks up the player who is going so well. Lots of flight from Wareham, draws Harmanpreet down the track to hit towards long-on, then the trajectory of the ball drops it low under the bat and through into Healy’s gloves. Proper leg-spin deception.
8th over: India 43-3 (Harmanpreet 26, Bhatia 2) When Harry met Perry! The Australian record-breaker bowls again, but Harmanpreet dominates this over. A simple leg-glance for four, then a cut shot that splits the field for another, and more adventurously, a pull shot flipped over deep backward for a third! That’s 15 from the over, India’s best of the night.
7th over: India 28-3 (Harmanpreet 13, Bhatia 1) Down the wicket comes Bhatia against Gardner, hitting her out through square leg but fielded out there. Then Harmanpreet is nearly run out, wanting to come back for a second but Bhatia says no, and Harmanpreet turns back and dives into her ground just ahead of Healy smashing the stumps.
6th over: India 25-3 (Harmanpreet 11, Bhatia 0) Over to Yastika Bhatia, the young up-and-comer in this side. She’s played really well so far in the series, but either at first drop or coming in with some runs on the board. Today she has a bigger job to do. The left-hander steps down and smacks Molineux flat and straight, but the bowler stops the shot.
End of the powerplay, dominant for Australia.
WICKET! Rodrigues c Darlington b Molineux 7, India 24-3
Molineux back with the ball, Lanning mixing and matching. Rodrigues tries to cut off her stumps, but can’t get it away a couple of times. So she changes up, coming down the track to hit over the leg side. Doesn’t get much purchase, and Darlington at midwicket gets a simple one.
5th over: India 24-2 (Rodrigues 7, Harmanpreet 10) Almost a third for Vlaeminck! Squeezed away to midwicket by Rodrigues, wide of the all-rounder who dives across and gets her left hand to it, but low to the ground and can’t hang on.
That brings Harmanpreet on strike, and she gets the first convincing shot away for India! A flick off the pads, leg-stump line and comfortably sent over square leg for four. Next ball, Vlaeminck moves her line a few inches towards off, but Harmanpreet shuffles the same way. In effect, same delivery, and same result.
Harmanpreet looked in great touch for all of the five balls she faced the other night, after a long injury layoff. Similarly crisp tonight.
4th over: India 14-2 (Rodrigues 6, Harmanpreet 1) Ellyse Perry is on to bowl early, in the match where she goes past Alex Blackwell’s record for the most matches for Australia. Bowls nicely, too, a bit of swing outside the off stump, and only a couple of singles conceded as Rodrigues edges to deep third, and Harmanpreet pulls a short one.
3rd over: India 12-2 (Rodrigues 5, Harmanpreet 0) One ball left in the Vlaeminck over, which beats Harmanpreet’s outside edge as the captain pushes down the line.
WICKET! Verma c Darlington b Vlaeminck 3, India 12-2
Two for Tay. Verma backs away to the leg side and wallops across the line, trying to send this downtown somewhere. Anywhere. Instead she send it a long way up, which counts as somewhere but it’s the wrong kind of somewhere. Darlington standing on the paint at mid-on takes the catch. Both openers gone, that really throws India.
2nd over: India 9-1 (Verma 3, Rodrigues 2) Sophie Molineux with left-arm spin from the other end, the same powerplay tactic as Australia used the other night without success. That time she got whacked for three boundaries, this time the batters work four singles.
WICKET! Mandhana c Carey b Vlaeminck 1, India 5-1
1st over: India 5-1 (Verma 1) Tayla Vlaeminck gets the new ball as she did the other night. The quickest in Australia’s armoury, and her warm-up deliveries are already close to 120 kph. Gets the first ball to swerve in at Mandhana, who does well to keep it out of her pads in front of middle stump and run a single. Verma on strike, and she can do all sorts of things. Hit three sixes while making 18 the other night, didn’t score a non-six run.
Vlaeminck isn’t all smooth though: bowls wide down the leg side, then oversteps. Mandhana gets the free hit, but smacks it straight at Darlington at mid-off. Wide again to follow, a nine-ball over.
But that gets Vlaeminck the wicket. With the ninth ball, Mandhana hits across the line, thick inside edge that squirts away flat towards midwicket and Carey is able to dive and get hands under it. Quite the opening salvo.
Here we go...
Both unchanged from Thursday night.
Harmanpreet Kaur *
Richa Ghosh +
Alyssa Healy +
Meg Lanning *
Australia win the toss and will bowl
Same as the first T20 match, then, when the Aussies put India in, and got carted everywhere. This should be extra fun.
There is no rain on the radar! Repeat, no rain on the radar. Rain ruined the Test match, then it ruined the first T20 in this multiformat series. So the only points from wins so far are from the 2-1 result to Australia in the three one-day matches that started things off.
What does that mean? It means that the multiformat standings are 5-7 points in favour of Australia, with two matches to play, worth two points each.
So India will need to win them both to win the series. Australia can seal it by winning one.
But India looked good in the first match on Thursday. Smashed their way to a big score with about 15 overs gone, before the rain came down. So it’s a matter of whether they can carry that on tonight.
Should be fun.