Hyderabad: The Indian women’s cricket team made a dream comeback and kept their hopes alive in the ongoing Tri-series against England and Australia as they beat Australia by 7 wickets at Melbourne in a must-win game. India chased down the target of 174 to pull off their highest run chase in the T20s.
Indian Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bowl first in a must-win game at the MCG as Australia looked for yet another victory over India.
India on the other side were determined to win this match and even the odds. They had a dream start as Deepti Sharma struck on the very third ball of the innings. Alyssa Healy was gone for a duck.
Ashleigh Gardener and Beth Mooney then steadied the ship with a 62-run partnership until Harleen Deol sent Mooney back to the pavilion. Ashleigh Gardener on the other side was looking in a great touch, taking the Australian innings forward alongside skipper Meg Landing. The duo had a great understanding and stitched a crucial 79 run partnership for the third wicket. Ashleigh brought up her fifty but the skipper was dismissed for a well made 37.
Ashleigh Gardener was looking a class apart with the type of shots she played and was comfortably cruising towards a hundred until Radha Yadav put an end to her marathon innings. She was out for 93. Ellyse Perry then hit a couple of boundaries to finish the Australian innings at 173/5.
India had a huge task in front of them chasing 173 as they never did it before. If they had to win, they had to accomplish something like never before by completing their highest ever successful chase in T20s.
Determined to win, the duo of Mandhana and Verma walked out to bat and played attacking cricket from the very first ball. The duo absolutely made a mockery of the Australian bowling line-up as they added 85 for the first wicket in less than 9 overs. Shafali Verma was then caught out off Ellyse Perry as he narrowly missed out on a 50. She was dismissed for 49. The 16-year-old looked a class apart as he hit the Aussie bowlers all over the park for 8 boundaries and 1 six.
Madhana continued the damage and brought her 50 up in style and was joined by Jemimah Rodrigues. The duo had a quick 37 run partnership until Rodrigues fell for a quick-fire 30.
The attacking approach from India did not stop there. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur joined Smriti in the middle as the duo looked to finish the game. Smriti Mandhana couldn’t finish the game with Harmanpreet as she fell for 55. Harmanpreet Kaur then played the supporting role to Deepti Sharma as she smacked 11 runs off 4 deliveries and thus scripted history as India completed their highest successful run-chase in T20s of 174 with 2 balls to spare.
India now have won two games out of the 4 with one win each against England and Australia.