Game 2 comes up on Friday at 1:15pm Australian Eastern time. Game 3 is Sunday at 10am. Not sure if they’re using fresh pitches or the same track at Mackay for those games, that aspect could be interesting.
Then the day-night Test match starts from September 30 for four days, play at 4pm each day.
See you there.
Australia win by 9 wickets, with 9 overs to spare
Well, that was dominant. Australia’s young bowlers did the job early, Darcie Brown picking up 4 for 33 from her nine overs, then Hannah Darlington got 2 for 29 from eight. More to the point was how Darlington squeezed the scoring. So did everyone, really, except Ellyse Perry who bowled 10 wides today. The upshot was that they didn’t bowl India out, but still restricted them to 225 for 8, with 45 of those runs coming in a late dash between Richa Ghosh and Goswami.
Sophie Molineux 2 for 39 from nine. Georgia Wareham bowled her full 10 overs for 36 runs. Ash Gardner’s four overs cost 12.
Then the run chase became a run stroll. The opening stand was 126. Alyssa Healy made 77 at a run a ball, and gave away a chance at a hundred looking for two sixes in a row. Then Lanning came out and stroked her first 30 so quickly that there was no chance to think of India applying pressure. Haynes went on to 93, Lanning to 52, and the captain’s career average in run chases is now 67.51.
Australia get win #25 in their streak, and looked several classes above India today.
41st over: Australia 227-1 (Haynes 93, Lanning 53) Goswami bowls a low full toss and Lanning places the drive wide of mid-off. That’s half century number 16 in her ODI career, this one from 67 balls.
So there will be no century for Haynes. But if I’m strict, she didn’t really deserve one. Hasn’t done enough in the last hour, in terms of attack or nailing her shots, and it would have felt a bit cheap had Lanning nursed her to the milestone.
Haynes does hit the winning runs though. A higher full toss, clubbed over midwicket and it will hit the gap.
40th over: Australia 218-1 (Haynes 89, Lanning 48) Loses the strike first ball. Rana is bowling off-spin over the wicket to the lefty, bowls outside her leg stump, it’s a gift for Haynes to sweep, but she only nicks it or gloves it, into the helmet of the wicketkeeper. It bounces away for a single. Lanning sweeps the next ball for four. So she’s got a fifty in her sights. Then gives Haynes the strike back, but Haynes has been choked up entirely here. Two dot balls, can’t beat the field, then she paddle-sweeps but that gets her two runs and costs her the strike.
Australia need eight to win.
39th over: Australia 210-1 (Haynes 86, Lanning 43) Goswami to bowl. Haynes defends the first on off stump. Looks to guide the next ball fine but misses. Defends length on the stumps again. Ring field, four in the off side. Misses a bouncer! Goswami with a good one, right up at helmet height. Haynes drives to mid-off, dot ball. What doing, Rachael! Get a single at least and pinch the strike. And she does! Dinks to midwicket. Pantomimes at wanting the second run, before Lanning throws up the stop sign.
38th over: Australia 209-1 (Haynes 85, Lanning 43) So it’s 20 to win and Haynes needs 18 for a ton. Is maybe thinking about it as she tries to take Rana downtown, but mistimes the shot again and it plugs short of long off, for one run. Lanning gives her the bowling back, and similarly Haynes looks to hit hard but only skids it down the ground for another single. Lanning tries a big cut shot for four to end the over, but it’s saved at cover. So she’s not going to coax Haynes to the score, that much seems evident.
17 to win. Haynes will have strike.
37th over: Australia 205-1 (Haynes 83, Lanning 41) Goswami’s eighth over, and only two runs from this one. Maybe the batters want to see her off as well?
36th over: Australia 203-1 (Haynes 82, Lanning 40) The end of Poonam Yadav for the day, dinking three singles as the Australians see her off. She’s taken the one wicket to fall but conceded 58 runs in doing so. That’s a win for the home team.
35th over: Australia 200-1 (Haynes 80, Lanning 39) There’s a better lofted shot from Haynes. Down the track and drives Rana over cover for four. Lifts a couple of runs down the ground, sweeps one to keep strike.
34th over: Australia 192-1 (Haynes 73, Lanning 38) Poonam Yadav will bowl her last couple of overs, roll the dice. The Aussie go-slow continues. They’ve gone from that patch of 32 runs from three overs to a patch of 21 from seven.
34 to win.
33rd over: Australia 189-1 (Haynes 72, Lanning 36) Goes the sweep shot, does Lanning, off a top edge to deep midwicket and just dropping short of the sweeper running around squarer. Then it’s the turn of Haynes, who charges and lofts, cloughs it over mid on, and it lands between long on running up and midwicket running back. No luck for Sneh Rana.
Ooh. Almost this song.
32nd over: Australia 186-1 (Haynes 71, Lanning 34) Haynes takes a single first ball, so it’s Lanning again. Who has just faced 12 balls in a row for one run, and now gets strike back. Dot ball to cover, thinks about running but goes back. Goswami the bowler. Lanning drives straight at mid off but runs with the stroke, picking that Mithali was the fielder and wasn’t likely to rifle in a left-handed direct hit across her body at the non-striker’s end. Haynes gives the strike back immediately. Maybe Lanning is having flashbacks to Goswami rocking her off stump back in the 2017 World Cup semifinal. Another block, then keeps the strike with a drive to deep cover.
31st over: Australia 182-1 (Haynes 69, Lanning 32) The waiting game continues. It’s not that Lanning isn’t playing shots against Rana: she pings four deliveries straight to the off-side field. But doesn’t beat it, and it’s a scoreless over.
30th over: Australia 182-1 (Haynes 69, Lanning 32) Goswami continues, but Lanning is happy to see her off, just a single from the last ball. Putting on the brakes might have made a difference earlier, but now it’s just a pause on the inevitable.
I have not verified this whatsoever, but SCANDAL AT THE CRICKET thanks to Wojami in my emails.
“Hey Geoff, I was just watching Alyssa Healy bring up her half century - that was a 6 not a 4. It definitely just cleared the rope, I zoomed in on it. She got ripped off a maximum!”
29th over: Australia 181-1 (Haynes 69, Lanning 31) You barely notice that Meg Lanning is out there, but she’s already racked up 30 after more than a run a ball, and she’s on the brink of a fifty partnership. Haynes raises it by driving Sneh Rana over cover for two, advancing, then goes back to turn a ball off her stumps for one. Gets the strike back, then pinches a single that becomes two after a direct hit on the stumps ricochets away.
Drinks. Australia need 45 to win. Haynes needs 31 for a ton, but I suspect Lanning is gobbling up runs too fast for that to happen, unless Haynes hits the hammer.
28th over: Australia 175-1 (Haynes 64, Lanning 30) You have to wonder about Mithali Raj’s tendency to let games drift. Jhulan Goswami has bowled four overs conceding 17 runs at the beginning of the innings. India’s strike bowler, leading all-time wicket-taker, the most experienced. She hasn’t returned with the ball until now, when the match is lost. Lanning and Haynes happily keep her out during this over, knocking around four runs.
27th over: Australia 171-1 (Haynes 63, Lanning 27) India just want to pack up and head to the hotel for the day, I reckon. Poonam Yadav twice bowls way down leg, this time to the right-handed Lanning, who plays two identical sweep shots for two identical boundaries. 32 runs from the last three overs.
26th over: Australia 160-1 (Haynes 63, Lanning 16) They’ve kept mid on up for Haynes, trying to tempt her to go over the top. She doesn’t: instead when she charges she whacks it along the ground, inside that mid off position for four. Then cuts another boundary, backward point this time as Deepti Sharma drops short. There’s the 2000-run mark for Haynes in ODIs.
25th over: Australia 149-1 (Haynes 53, Lanning 15) Good bouncer from Meghna! Really digs it in to Haynes, gets good elevation up towards the helmet and Haynes flinches as she pulls. Totally uncontrolled, top edge, it just happens to fall safely behind square. But she gets of strike, and Lanning gets a full wide ball that she creams away with a square drive for four. Then waits back for another short ball and smacks away the pull shot for another. It doesn’t get up quite as high as the previous short ball, but still pretty good. It’s just that Lanning is ready for it.
Half century! Rachael Haynes 50 from 55 balls
24th over: Australia 139-1 (Haynes 52, Lanning 6) Poor ball from Poonam, looped but outside the left-hander’s leg stump, and simple for Haynes to sweep fine for four. There’s her milestone.
23rd over: Australia 132-1 (Haynes 46, Lanning 5) Meghna Singh returns, beats Lanning with away swing, then takes the edge wide of the keeper for four. Genuine nick, but on the bounce behind the stumps. The only score from the over aside from a wide.
22nd over: Australia 127-1 (Haynes 46, Lanning 1) Meg Lanning next to the crease, the best player ever in this women’s format with her 14 one-day tons. She’s playing her 200th match for Australia today across the three forms. Only four Tests in there but she’ll add two more this summer.
WICKET! Healy c Vastrakar b Poonam 77, Australia 126-1
Past the 2000 mark with a six! Healy charges down to Poonam, reaches the pitch and hits it dead straight down the ground and over the rope. But she goes to the well once too often from the next ball. Doesn’t reach the pitch the second time around, Poonam’s flight beats her, meaning she hits it flatter than intended, and then a bit of turn makes the shot skew wider than it would have. Caught at mid off. She’s made her shirt number, and all but won this match for Australia. Vastrakar at least gets to contribute with a catch.
21st over: Australia 120-0 (Haynes 46, Healy 71) Wide to Healy, who reaches to Rana and drives her square for two. Then cuts hard for a single. She’s three runs away from her 2000th in ODI cricket. Haynes is 17 away from the same mark. Healy sweeps another single.
20th over: Australia 114-0 (Haynes 44, Healy 67) Another skip down from Healy to Poonam, and is lucky to get something on that ball as it almost dips under the bat. Drives a single. Haynes goes with a reverse, but Poonam’s pace is so slow that she has to wait for it and play a reverse shovel more than a sweep, to the gap at short third for two runs. Then another brace pulled to fine leg. Haynes stepping up her rate while Healy battles a bit.
19th over: Australia 107-0 (Haynes 38, Healy 66) Rana bowling. Healy is tiring a little in the Mackay heat, I reckon. A touch of weariness to her cut shot that forces a single through cover, rather than lacing into it through point. Haynes sweeps a couple, another good diving stop on the rope at fine leg. The Indians have been good in the field today. Just haven’t been able to force chances with the ball. And most importantly, were short of runs to begin with. This pitch has got better and better to bat on, it looks like.
18th over: Australia 103-0 (Haynes 35, Healy 65) Poonam Yadav again has to replace Vastrakar after one over. Landing them beautifully against Healy, looping them right up to her toes and having them dip. Late in the over though, the batters both hang back to cut. Healy gets one run, Haynes gets three, kept from four by another excellent dive from Rana. She’s done that twice today, diving over the ball and flicking it back within a few microns of the rope.
17th over: Australia 96-0 (Haynes 31, Healy 63) Sneh Rana comes on, the off-spinner who played so well during India’s recent Test against England and in so doing forced her way back into the ODI team. She can bat, too, the full package. No luck for her first over though, as she turns the ball enough to take an outside edge from Haynes, but sees it roll away fine for four.
16th over: Australia 89-0 (Haynes 24, Healy 63) Vastrakar has been taken from the attack, had a rest, and returns. Her day doesn’t get much better though. 16 from the first over, 10 from this one. Another full toss that Healy can smack over a straight midwicket for four, then a couple of twos on the off side.
Batting looks like a cruise right now. Healy has a century there for the taking, she’s in the sort of flow where only her getting bored and trying something too ambitious might keep her from it.
15th over: Australia 79-0 (Haynes 23, Healy 54) Not sure Healy needs to try the reverse sweep against Poonam. Beaten by the bounce, predictably, as it goes over her gloves. But she gets off strike with a conventional sweep to follow, and Haynes cuts a couple.
Half century! Alyssa Healy 53 from 56 balls
14th over: Australia 75-0 (Haynes 20, Healy 53) Again a dance and a hit to the rope. Over mid off from Deepti. A few years Healy had one of the worst top-order batting records in world cricket, in the years since she has one of the best. That is half-century number 13 in ODI cricket for her.
13th over: Australia 67-0 (Haynes 19, Healy 46) First blow against Poonam from Healy, skipping down to the pitch (which is often not easy to do) and driving out through cover for four. That will encourage Australia.
12th over: Australia 61-0 (Haynes 18, Healy 41) Double spin persists with Deepti Sharma. The Australians are working her comfortably though, square of the wicket on both sides. Four singles and a two.
11th over: Australia 55-0 (Haynes 16, Healy 37) This is a big contest. Poonam Yadav, and her achingly slow leg-breaks. They have been the undoing of the Australians before, wanting to attack them but not knowing how. I suspect they’ve done some serious work on this since being embarrassed at the T20 World Cup last year. Today, three singles, one attempted charge from Healy that doesn’t work.
10th over: Australia 52-0 (Haynes 15, Healy 35) Raj turns to spin, bringing on Deepti Sharma to deny the Australians pace. But Haynes skips down second ball and drives straight of mid off for four! There’s the 50 partnership at a good clip. Haynes cuts a couple more behind point. Now she’s up and running too.
9th over: Australia 46-0 (Haynes 9, Healy 35) Pooja Vastrakar the first bowling change to replace Goswami, but she hasn’t learned the lessons from the Goswami spell. Namely, don’t bowl short. Especially to Healy. Another one that’s just fractionally short, almost a hard length, but Healy’s hands are so fast that she takes it off the top of the bounce through midwicket again.
Then gets a full toss, goes the same way, but bigger! Longer. Six. She deliberately hits this one upwards, angling the bat face up to get elevation.
Vastrakar goes back to a shorter length, and Healy pulls for four! Waaay in front of square, splits the gap between mid-on and midwicket and beats the chase. The over costs 16 runs, all of them to Healy.
8th over: Australia 30-0 (Haynes 9, Healy 19) Meghna back in control, managing to bowl seven deliveries at Healy and keep the batter to one run. Also concedes a wide, trying to hit Healy’s leg stump after noting how far she moves across. It doesn’t come off. Healy gets a single to leg from the last ball, after playing everything else to the off-side field.
7th over: Australia 28-0 (Haynes 9, Healy 18) Haynes now, the Aussies going pull for pull, hitting Goswami out through midwicket although some great fielding from Sneh Rana tips the ball back and it stops literally an inch inside the rope. Healy comes on strike with the third run, and Goswami beats her with the short ball finally, thumping into her thigh as Healy tries to pull again. Appeal for lbw, and the ball nearly bounces back onto her stumps, but the keeper survives.
6th over: Australia 24-0 (Haynes 6, Healy 17) Meghna so nearly gets through another tidy over, three runs from five balls, but Healy drags a pull shot away from the sixth. It isn’t well struck, not short enough to pull and she gets more bottom edge than anything on it, but it eventually dribbles into the rope behind square leg.
5th over: Australia 17-0 (Haynes 5, Healy 11) Watches Meghna go by, but just watches Goswami go! Healy cracks another pull shot for four, this time lifted over midwicket, quick as a flash to take the ball off a length with a satisfying crack of the bat.
4th over: Australia 13-0 (Haynes 4, Healy 7) Meghna keeping Haynes very quiet, taking four balls just to get off strike with a little nudge to leg. Healy watches a couple of outswingers go by.
3rd over: Australia 11-0 (Haynes 3, Healy 7) Haynes likes the pull shot, and she’s short of stature so it’s easy for her to get the length to pounce on. Pulls Goswami square for a couple of runs. Doesn’t get it out of the middle. Healy does though! Cracks it for four.
2nd over: Australia 4-0 (Haynes 1, Healy 3) Meghna Singh from the other end, bowling right-arm over and getting some nice outswing shape to Healy, who keeps walking across to address the line of the ball. Edges short of a second slip, Mithali Raj having a cordon in place early.
1st over: Australia 2-0 (Haynes 1, Healy 1) Don’t panic, Australians, we write the scores using the global method given we have all kinds of cricket coverage on this site. Jhulan Goswami starts off exactly as she usually does, hitting a hard length and a tight line on off stump. Only a couple of singles, Healy pulling out the cut shot early but not timing it.
Play to commence, Haynes and Healy opening for Australia.
Thanks Megan, hello all. It has begun. Australia’s cricket summer, I mean. England’s women are still playing over there. England’s Test series only recently (and prematurely) concluded. The last round of the County Championship starts later today, with the Bob Willis Trophy awaiting. And yet, with the northern season not yet complete, the southern begins. What a time we live in.
India 225-8. Australia need 226 to win
After a fairly disastrous start for the Australians, with some uncharacteristically rusty bowling from Perry, they showed why they are such a dominant force in world cricket. It was a huge game for Darcie Brown in her second ODI, finishing with 4-33 from her nine overs. Debutant Hannah Darlington was also sensational with 2-29 from eight overs. The Australians will have wanted to keep that total a little lower, but they will be confident that their batters can get this done without too much trouble. I’m looking forward to seeing Healy come out firing, but Rachael Haynes will also have a big role to play at the top. I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my wonderful colleague Geoff Lemon, who will guide you through Australia’s batting innings. Thanks for hanging out with me during that very enjoyable start to the summer of cricket.
50th over: India 225-8 (Meghna 1, Richa 32)
It’s Molineux with the last over and she forces a chance on the second ball, but there are no fielders under it. But on the third ball, she strikes to remove Jhulan and gets a look at the new batter straight away. She does a great job of holding her on strike for the first ball, but Meghna gets herself down the non-strikers end to let Richa finish off the innings. A very good delivery from Molineux finishes it off and doesn’t let Richa get underneath it.
WICKET! Jhulan (20) st Healy b Molineux
Another good stumping from Healy who is on song with the gloves today. Molineux plays her part perfectly, putting the ball a little bit wider than she has been and tempts Jhulan down the wicket.
49th over: India 221-7 (Jhulan 19, Richa 30)
In the penultimate over, McGrath continues with her spell, but Jhulan is ready to play and smashes her for the first six of the game off the first ball of the over. McGrath tidies up after that, with a dot and then a two that India really have to rush through. Jhulan is hitting the ball very hard, and eventually she’s able replicate that effort from the first ball of the overwith another six from the last after McGrath misses her length. It’s a good over from India, but it’s possibly too little, too late.
48th over: India 204-7 (Jhulan 10, Richa 22)
Molineux returns to the attack and takes the pace off the ball so as not to give the Indian batters the opportunity to use the pace. Richa plays it nicely from the third ball of the over, taking advantage of the vacant slips position to guide the ball to the boundary and follows it up with a lovely cut shot for a second consecutive four.
47th over: India 193-7 (Jhulan 8, Richa 13)
McGrath comes back into the attack and it only takes Jhulan a couple of balls to size her up and steer the ball gently past third for a boundary. McGrath claws it back and doesn’t let the over get away from her.
46th over: India 187-7 (Jhulan 2, Richa 13)
A great start to the over from Wareham, she’s making life very difficult for the batters. She has played her role exceptionally well so far today. Richa looks like she really wants to push the run rate out and almost gets another four, but some outstanding fielding on the boundary from Brown cuts it off.
45th over: India 185-7 (Jhulan 1, Richa 12)
Darlington continues with her spell and Richa gets her away for a boundary from the first ball of the over. Darlington gives a bit more width and less pace to shut that option down and gets Jhulan on strike. Jhulan looks frustrated at not being able to get bat on ball straight away, the frustration is setting in. She gets her bat on the next two, but can’t get it out of the inner circle. Darlington finishes the over with a great yorker.
44th over: India 179-7 (Jhulan 0, Richa 7)
Wareham keeps searching for her first wicket, but she has done an excellent job building pressure that Brown and Darlington have been able to capitalise on. India desperately need to increase their run rate and Wareham isn’t letting them open up. Even when Richa does get the ball away, the field has it covered and it’s a frustrating over for the batters.
43rd over: India 178-7 (Jhulan 0, Richa 6)
Darlington is unlucky to give up a run from her first ball with an uncharacteristic misfield from Mooney. Darlington has returned to her comfort zone of fuller balls and picks up a very familiar looking wicket - Sydney Thunder fans will recall plenty of those from the last WBBL season. Darlington is beaming and looks to be thoroughly enjoying her debut.
WICKET! Sneh (2) b Darlington
A beautiful ball from Darlington beats the batter and smashes into leg stump. Great stump to stump bowling from the debutant.
42nd over: India 175-6 (Sneh 1, Richa 4)
Wareham looks like she’s going to take a wicket at any moment. She’s been good at building pressure so far, but she’s such a wicket taker and she won’t want to let an opportunity pass her by. She nearly gets one on her fourth ball, but Gardner can’t quite get there to take the catch. India are looking like they want to up the pace now and push through for a quick single on the last.
41st over: India 172-6 (Sneh 0, Richa 2)
Well we’re into the action overs now - and Darlington is keen for some action it seems, with a wicket from her first ball. She’s up and about now with some variations in her line, length and pace. She’s making the new batter in Sneh work really hard to try to dig her way out of trouble as the pressure starts to build. Darlington finishes with a wicket maiden and it’s a beautiful moment.
WICKET! Pooja (17) c Molineux b Darlington
Very emotional moment (for me) as Darlington takes her first wicket for Australia. It’s a little shorter than the deliveries she has been bowling, which confuses Pooja into popping it up in the air for Molineux to come in for a simple catch.
40th over: India 172-5 (Pooja 17, Richa 2)
Wareham makes her return, looking for the second spinners’ wicket after Molineux removed Mithali in her last over. She keeps Pooja playing deep in her crease and doesn’t give her much room to move, only conceding two from the over.
39th over: India 170-5 (Pooja 16, Richa 1)
Darlington again starts economically and gets her first look at Richa in the second half of the over. Richa takes her time getting her eye in against Darlington, the fuller length seems to trouble her a little, but she gets a run away on the final ball.
38th over: India 166-5 (Pooja 14, Richa 0)
Molineux keeps the pressure on and eventually frustrates into Mithali into giving up her wicket - a great reward for an excellent spell. Richa Ghosh comes to the crease and just plays out the rest of Molineux’s over conservatively.
WICKET! Mithali (61) st Healy b Molineux
The pressure Molineux has been building pays off as she tempts Mithali down the wicket and Healy takes the bails off with glee.
37th over: India 164-4 (Pooja 14, Mithali 60)
Another over for Darlington - she’s looking confident and settled into her role now. She creates a chance for a wicket on the second ball of the over, but Pooja again finds the gap in the field for the ball to fall safely. Darlington is fielding well off her bowling, throwing herself at everything, she’s very determined.
36th over: India 158-4 (Pooja 13, Mithali 55)
Molineux keeps going with her left arm orthodox, looking to dry up the runs as much as possible and keep that dot ball pressure on coming into a critical time in the innings.
35th over: India 155-4 (Pooja 11, Mithali 54)
Darlington is back into the attack and keeping up her very good, consistent line and length. The batters are managing to get bat on ball, but Darlington is bowling to her field very well and doesn’t let them get through the gaps. It’s another economical over from her.
34th over: India 151-4 (Pooja 8, Mithali 52)
There’s some confusion with the scoring at the moment, Mithali’s total seems to be jumping back and forth a little. Molineux keeps the pressure on with a tidy over.
33rd over: India 147-4 (Pooja 8, Mithali 56)
Brown keeps the aggression in her spell, starting with some short-pitched deliveries and almost picking up her fifth by forcing Pooja to hit a mistimed shot into the air, but it falls safely. There’s another opportunity from Pooja in this over, but she’s finding the gaps in the field so far. Mithali comes back on strike and finishes the over with a boundary.
32nd over: India 140-4 (Pooja 1, Mithali 51)
Molineux comes back into the attack and starts well against Pooja, cramping her up in the crease before she finally gets off the mark on the fourth ball of the over with an easy single. It’s a very economical over from Molineux up until the final ball of the over when Mithali picks up another boundary.
31st over: India 134-4 (Pooja 0, Mithali 45)
Brown continues to hunt for her fourth wicket and gets it on the third ball of the over. She tries her short ball straight after that, but it’s called a wide. Mithali picks up a boundary from the fourth ball, guiding it past fine leg for four. She doesn’t want the new batter to have to take any risks against Brown and finishes conservatively.
WICKET! Deepti (9) c Wareham b Brown
Can you believe it’s another wicket from Brown? She’s determined not to let anyone else get one it seems. She forces Deepti into a wild swing that results in a top edge and an easy catch for Wareham.
30th over: India 128-3 (Deepti 9, Mithali 39)
After a drinks break, we’re back with Wareham to continue her spell. Deepti tries to sweep the first ball, but it’s too full and it’s a risky shot. On the second ball, she finds the gap and gets India’s second boundary in the last 10 overs with a good drive past long on.
29th over: India 122-3 (Deepti 4, Mithali 39)
Naturally Brown is back for this over after a wicket maiden in her last. She starts with a shorter ball, which gets Mithali off strike and gives Brown a shot at the new batter. Deepti takes another look at Brown, she doesn’t look overly comfortable with her pace so far. Brown takes advantage of this discomfort and throws in a bouncer just to really rattle the new batter at the crease. She almost picks up another wicket on the final ball of the over, but Lanning can’t hold on to the catch.
28th over: India 120-3 (Deepti 3, Mithali 38)
Wareham continues to build the pressure, but Gardener almost lets them off with a little misfield on the boundary, but she cleans it up before it hits the rope. Deepti looks to push forward after taking her time against Brown and gets off the mark this over. It’s a decent over from Wareham, she has been good so far.
27th over: India 115-3 (Deepti 0, Mithali 38)
Great captaincy from Lanning, bring Brown on at just the right time to pick up a wicket from her first ball. The pressure built by the spinners and Darlington had a significant impact and Brown makes the most of it. She’s not intimidated by the occasion and continues to nail her line and length throughout the over. A sensational wicket maiden over from the young Brown.
WICKET! Yastika (35) c Haynes b Brown
Well Brown has immediate impact, forcing Yastika to try to hit through backward point, but the safe hands of Haynes were having none of it.
26th over: India 115-2 (Yastika 35, Mithali 38)
A little chance off Wareham’s bowling with a risky shot through covers from Mithali, but then Yastika takes the pressure off with a four. Yastika tries for another boundary with a good pull shot off the final ball of the over, but she can’t find the gap in the field this time.
25th over: India 108-2 (Yastika 29, Mithali 35)
Darlington returns for her second, getting some very vocal support from her NSW captain Healy. She starts with another dot, bowling her characteristic full and straight deliveries that took so many wickets in the last WBBL season. She misses her line on the third and concedes a wide, but recovers quickly and doesn’t let it shake her. Between a slow outfield and the excellent Australian fielding, there aren’t too many boundary opportunities for the Indians, even when the bowling provides some room to move. It’s another solid over for Darlington.
24th over: India 102-2 (Yastika 27, Mithali 33)
Well now I’ve recovered from Darlington’s first over we’re back to Wareham. She keeps the ball on a nice, full length and continues with her plan to frustrate the batters. If she can dry up the runs here, she’ll create some chances later on when India need to accelerate. Yastika tries to flick one away on the final ball of the over, but she can’t get it past Haynes.
23rd over: India 102-2 (Yastika 27, Mithali 32)
IT’S HANNAH TIME!!!!! I’m just a little excited, can you tell? She starts really nicely with three very good fuller balls. She gives away her first run on the fourth ball of the over and another on the fifth and sxith, but her field is set very well and it’s an excellent first over from the debutant.
22nd over: India 99-2 (Yastika 26, Mithali 30)
This is turning into a nice partnership for India, they’ll look to consolidate this for a few more overs before possibly looking to up the scoring rate. Wareham doesn’t get the best start to her over with a full toss, but Yastika isn’t able to punish it. Wareham adjusts her length and builds the pressure to finish with three dots.
21st over: India 96-2 (Yastika 25, Mithali 28)
Molineux continues and she gets Mithali hitting up in the air early on, but she expertly guides it away from the fielders. Molineux is bowling a little slower now, trying to tempt the batters into coming down the wicket to her.
20th over: India 91-2 (Yastika 24, Mithali 24)
Some more spin now as Wareham takes her first over. She’ll be looking for a wicket early, but after a couple of dot balls, Mithali sees the opportunity she’s been looking for - some beautiful footwork sees her drive for four, before Wareham tightens her line.
19th over: India 86-2 (Yastika 24, Mithali 19)
A good start to her second over from Molineux, with a dot and a single. She gets Mithali back on strike and the captain isn’t looking keen to push the pace of her scoring, she seems quite content to just take the scoring opportunities as they come. She’ll be looking to bat through the innings and rotate the strike for the more aggressive batters.
18th over: India 84-2 (Yastika 23, Mithali 18)
Gardener continues, with spin from both ends, which will get the batters thinking and me trying to type very fast. Another chance on the second ball of the over, but Yastika manages to find the gap in the field to stay safe. Gardener is doing a good job at cramping Yastika up at the crease, trying to frustrate her into playing a silly shot. Yastika doesn’t fall into the trap, just taking a gentle single to get her captain back on strike.
17th over: India 78-2 (Yastika 20, Mithali 15)
We get out first look at Molineux now, with her left arm orthodox spin. She gets off to a good start with a couple of dot balls. She’s putting the ball in a tough spot for the batters and is very economical to start. Mithali eventually gets her away and nearly picks up a boundary, but some more excellent fielding from the Australians saves the four and almost creates a run out chance. Molineux finishes with a dot and it’s a good first over from her.
16th over: India 75-2 (Yastika 20, Mithali 12)
A third over for Gardener now and she picks up where she left off. There’s a chance off her third ball with a mistimed shot from Mithali that goes straight up in the air, but there’s no fielder under it. Another half chance a couple of balls later - Gardener is creating plenty of them out there.
15th over: India 72-2 (Yastika 18, Mithali 11)
Perry returns after drinks, looking to continue her good form from her last over and she starts well with two dots. Her line and length is much better than it was in her first spell and she’s making the batters work much harder. The fourth ball of the over is a brutal short ball that strikes Mithali on the helmet and there’s a break for a concussion test and to check the helmet. It was a very good ball from Perry - Mithali is too experienced to be shaken up too much by it, but Perry will be keen to make sure India knows she is on song and dangerous after a less than ideal start. Unfortunately she follows it up with a wide, but tightens it back up for the last two balls of the over.
14th over: India 67-2 (Yastika 14, Mithali 11)
Gardener is back, which means some fast typing is required from me, she really flies through her overs. Mithali is building into her innings now, starting to pick up more runs. Gardener keeps it fairly tight, she’s not giving the batters a lot of work with and she’s getting good back up in the field from her teammates.
13th over: India 64-2 (Yastika 13, Mithali 8)
Perry has had a break to take a look at the game and she’s back to see if she can bounce back and get her radar on track. She nearly picks up a wicket from her first ball, getting a little inside edge from Yastika, which will give her some confidence. It’s a much tighter start from her, she’ll be pleased with her efforts here. And of course with Perry bowling beautifully, the men in the commentary box are very keen to discuss her hairstyle. On the fifth ball of the over, Mithali looks to get one away, but Darlington fields it excellently on the boundary. The umpires take a look at a run out attempt on the last ball of the over - it’s closer than it looked at first glace, but Yastika was just in her crease.
12th over: India 57-2 (Yastika 10, Mithali 6)
We get our first look at some spin today, with Ash Gardener coming on to bowl for her first over. It’s a good start for her, with a nice length ball for a dot. The second ball gets Mithali thinking on her feet and Gardener continues with that line of thought for a very tight over.
11th over: India 55-2 (Yastika 10, Mithali 6)
McGrath comes back for her third over, continuing with her good length balls. Mithali gets a shorter ball away for two runs, which is fielded on the boundary by Brown, but again it’s a good, tight over from McGrath.
10th over: India 51-2 (Yastika 10, Mithali 3)
Brown returns for her fourth consecutive over and the batters look determined to get her away. Mithali picks up a single and Yastika gets two and then Brown pulls things back with four dots, including a well-executed short ball. She looks comfortable out there.
9th over: India 48-2 (Yastika 8, Mithali 2)
McGrath starts with two wides - there have been plenty of those for Australia today. We’ll chalk that up to some rustiness coming out of hotel quarantine and a winter of no cricket. She gets back into the swing of things with some very good length balls just outside off stump. McGrath appears to be looking to tie down an end and frustrate the batters into swinging wildly against the pace of Brown. A decent appeal for LBW on the third ball of the over, but the umpire gives a little shake of the head. Mithali manages another single, but it’s a great over from McGrath and she finishes with another dot.
8th over: India 45-2 (Yastika 8, Mithali 1)
Brown is bowling again, starting with a length ball that Yastika pulls to backward square leg for a single. Mithali can’t get off the mark with a bouncer from Brown, but two balls later she steers it nicely to third for a single. Yastika gets back on strike and shows she’s not afraid of Brown’s pace, pulling it past deep backward square leg for four. Brown finishes the over with another short ball and a dot.
7th over: India 39-2 (Yastika 3, Mithali 0)
McGrath is back for her second over after a good start in her first over. She comes around the wicket to the left handed Yastika, which works well for her first ball, but the second is a full toss that Yastika happily drives down to backward point for a single. McGrath comes back over the wicket to Mithali and doesn’t give her a chance to get off the mark with four good length balls. An excellent over for McGrath, just the one from it.
6th over: India 38-2 (Yastika 2, Mithali 0)
Brown starts with a wide, but she doesn’t let that shake her confidence, getting Smriti the very next ball with a great catch in the gully by Haynes. This brings the highly experienced Mithali Raj to the crease, who takes the over to take a look at the pace of Brown. A very good over from the youngster.
WICKET! Smriti (16) c Haynes b Brown
Another wicket for the youngster with a nice ball outside off stump, caught by Haynes, who is having a brilliant day in the field.
5th over: India 37-1 (Yastika 2, Smriti 16)
As expected, Perry gets a rest and McGrath comes on to bowl. Unfortunately she doesn’t get off to the ideal start with a wide first ball, but gets her confidence back with five dots. She’s bowling a nice, full length so far, which seems to be troubling Smriti a little. Smriti finally gets her away on the last, but again it’s Haynes on the boundary to deny a four.
4th over: India 33-1 (Yastika 2, Smriti 13)
Brown is much tighter than Perry so far, with a single and a dot from her first two balls and then that much-needed wicket on the third, cramping Shafali up. There’s an appeal on the fourth as well, but the umpire isn’t interested. Yastika on debut gets off the mark with a lovely drive for two runs. Brown finishes a very nice over with a dot.
WICKET! Shafali (8) c Healy b Brown
That was a much needed wicket, Brown will be very happy with that effort. Shafali gets a feather to the ball and sends it straight to Healy who takes it with glee.
3rd over: India 30-0 (Shafali 8, Smriti 12)
Another wide from Perry to start the third over, she’s looking frustrated at being unable to find her line and length early. She follows it up with a nice length ball for a dot, before a brilliant cut shot from Smriti, which nearly goes for four, but is saved by a brilliant fielding effort from Rachael Haynes. Unfortunately the next ball is a full toss and it’s an absolute gift for Smriti, who flicks it past deep midwicket for four. Perry looks rattled and bowls a very wide wide next ball and then a less wide wide after that. I’d be surprised to see her come back for another over just yet. She finishes the over with a single thanks to good fielding by Brown, but gives away 16 from the over.
2nd over: India 14-0 (Shafali 8, Smriti 3)
Darcie Brown opens from the other end, bringing her express pace to the game and starts with two dots, which will give her plenty of confidence. Smriti gets off the mark on the third ball, getting the ball down to deep square leg for two. Brown bowls a wide late in the over, but tightens up with two dots to finish in a nice, tidy start.
1st over: India 10-0 (Shafali 8, Smriti 0)
Perry takes the first over for Australia, leading with experience. Verma takes a ball to have a look at her, before finding the gap and sending the second ball to the fence past deep extra cover for four. Perry follows up with a couple of wides - it’s not the ideal start for her. She tightens it up with a much better line and a dot ball. A half chance on the fourth ball of the over with an uncontrolled shot from Verma, but it flies over Healy’s head and to the boundary for another four. Perry finishes with a dot, but it’s not the best start for her.
A good question from Ian Harkin on Twitter:
I like this idea - definitely two huge performers for the two teams and a nice catchy name, which this series is lacking. I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts - drop them in the comments below.
India have a strong looking team as well - most notably Richa Ghosh, the 17-year-old wicketkeeper who will be looking to make her mark with both the bat and the gloves. Poonam Yadav is another one we’ll be looking out for - she was devastating for India in that opening game of the T20 World Cup last year. She absolutely destroyed the Australian batters with her looping deliveries. She wasn’t as effective in the final, but she’ll be looking to replicate that first game effort today.
Toss - Australia to bowl first
It’s a nice, balanced looking XI for Australia today - they have the express pace of Brown, some spin from Molineux and Wareham, Darlington’s death bowling prowess and of course the magic Perry brings, along with all-rounders Gardener and McGrath. It looks like a good decision from Lanning to bowl first and get these players into the action ASAP.
Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Yastika Bhatia, Mithali Raj (c), Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Poonam Yadav
Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Hannah Darlington, Darcie Brown
Ooh, some very exciting news today with Hannah Darlington making her debut! The 19-year-old was a star for the champion Sydney Thunder side in the WBBL last year, with some sensational death bowling, so it will be very interesting to see what she can deliver here. As a self-confessed Hannah Darlington diehard fangirl, I’m delighted to be able to be talk about her in her debut today.
It’s cricket season!! Can you believe it? After months of dreary football we’re finally ready for the delight that can only be brought to us through the magical sound of leather on willow. It’s going to be a huge summer of cricket for the Australian women - starting with this multi-format series against India, followed by the WBBL, a home Ashes series and then over to New Zealand to try to win back the 50-over World Cup after a disappointing semi-final loss all the way back in 2017.
But first to this series against India. It seems an age has passed since the two teams met in the T20 World Cup final at the MCG in March 2020 in the last big sporting event before Covid changed the world. India will still be feeling the pain of that loss after beating Australia so comprehensively in the opening match of the tournament. With Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen out of this series, it will be the ideal time for India to try to claw back some ascendancy and strike against a slightly less experienced Australian team.
Of course I say slightly because there is still truckloads of experience in there. Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Ash Gardener, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy are obviously highly seasoned competitors, but there is also some exciting up-and-coming talent in the team as well. The young bowling trio of Stella Campbell, Hannah Darlington and Darcie Brown will be looking to make their mark on this series and have the potential to be highly dangerous if unleashed at the right time.
There’s lots to talk about today and I can’t wait to get started!