Match Report:


Aussies come from the clouds to seal thrilling ODI series victory

Richa Ghosh's 96 had India in the box seat, but Australia young gun Annabel Sutherland led the Aussie fightback with three crucial wickets at the death

Australia have pulled off a thrilling three-run, final-over victory to seal an ODI series victory over India, holding their nerve to deny the hosts at Wankhede Stadium.

Sutherland inspires Aussie fightback in eventful ODI thriller

Richa Ghosh had produced a career-best batting display to put India well on track to reel in Australia’s 8-258 and level the series at 1-1.

But her dismissal on 96 in the 44th over, with India still needing 41 runs from 37 balls, triggered a collapse of 4-25 and turned the course of the chase.

Australia – as they did against India in the T20 World Cup semi-final in February, and in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match in 2022 – found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

India needed 16 runs off Annabel Sutherland (3-47) in the final over, but after Deepti Sharma smacked a boundary first ball, the hosts could only scramble a series of singles – amid a wide and a dropped catch – to ultimately fall just shy of their target.  

First drop Ghosh had ridden her luck, dropped on 0 and 36, and battled cramp to get within touching distance of her first international ton, but her good fortune finally ran out when Phoebe Litchfield held onto a sharp catch off the bowling of Sutherland, leaving the 20-year-old distraught.

Sutherland then bowled Amanjot Kaur (4) and had the powerful Pooja Vastrakar (8) holing out in the 48th over, while Ashleigh Gardner knocked over concussion substitute Harleen Deol (1) in the 49th, as the hosts again fell short of Australia in a white-ball thriller.

India rocked by heavy head clash between fielders

Earlier, Litchfield (63 from 98) and Ellyse Perry (50 from 47) hit fifties to lay a strong foundation for the tourists after they elected to bat first, before Sharma (5-38) claimed the best ODI figures by an Indian woman against Australia to rip through the middle-order.

But the off-spinner’s efforts were frustrated by a sloppy display by the hosts’ fielders, and a late flurry from Alana King (28no from 17) lifted Australia to 8-258.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur had highlighted fielding as an area for improvement following the first one-dayer but an untidy effort in that game became downright damaging on Saturday as seven catches were put down – contributing a combined additional 110 runs to the Australian total.

Australia had their own issues holding onto the ball, putting down three catches including two chances to dismiss Ghosh.

India had omitted Shafali Verma to make way for the returning Smriti Mandhana, with Yastika Bhatia (14) retaining her spot at the top of the order.

Bhatia was the first wicket to fall after being struck on the pads by Kim Garth, with Australia successfully employing the DRS to end the 37-run opening stand.

King then snared the key wicket of Mandhana just after the first drinks break as she holed out to Tahlia McGrath at long on.

Ghosh and Jemimah Rodrigues dug in to frustrate the tourists, with the former dropped on zero, before surviving a tight run out opportunity, and gifted another life when Sutherland put down a skied chance in the deep with the No.3 on 36.

It took a piece of brilliance from Litchfield at short extra cover to remove Rodrigues, as she hung onto a speculator diving grab off the bowling of Georgia Wareham, and the leg-spinner got a second when Kaur (7) was caught behind.

Litchfield's blinder in the covers gets crucial Rodrigues wicket

Earlier, Litchfield was the prime beneficiary of the extra chances, put down on zero, 10 and 16.

Alyssa Healy survived a scare on six when India opted against using a review after the Australian captain was struck on the pads, and ball tracking revealed she would have been out.

But the right-hander’s struggles with the bat continued, as she worked her way to 13 from 24 balls before she was bowled by Vastrakar playing across the line.

With Australia 1-40, Perry arrived in the middle and picked up where she left off in the first ODI, cruising to a half-century from just 46 balls.

Her downfall ultimately came out of nowhere, when debutant Shreyanka Patil juggled but ultimately held onto a powerfully hit chance at short mid-wicket, giving Sharma her first.

The off-spinner trapped Beth Mooney (10) lbw shortly after for her second.

India’s fielding woes continued when Sneh Rana and Vastrakar collided heavily as both looked to intercept a ground ball, with the former forced from the field clutching at her head.

Rana was cleared to return shortly after and bowled a further six overs, but was then taken to hospital for scans at the innings break complaining of a headache, replaced by concussion substitute Deol.

Litchfield’s second consecutive fifty came off 74 balls via a reverse sweep, but her dismissal on 63, caught behind off Patil, in the 34th over triggered a mini collapse of 3-20 as Gardner (2) holed out off Rana and McGrath (24 off 32) was bowled by Sharma.

The off-spinner then completed her five-wicket haul when she removed Wareham (22 off 20) and Sutherland (23 off 29) in the same over.

With Australia 8-219 after 46 overs, a below-par total beckoned, but King – who overturned an out lbw decision first ball and was then dropped on eight by Kaur – led a late flurry that included three sixes, which saw the tourists add 39 runs from the final four overs.

The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on January 2.

India XI: Yastika Bhatia, Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Amanjot Kaur, Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Renuka Singh Thakur, Shreyanka Patil

Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (c, wk), Phoebe Litchfield, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Alana King, Kim Garth, Darcie Brown

Australia's CommBank Tour of India

Test match: India won by eight wickets

First ODI: Australia won by six wickets

Second ODI: Australia won by three runs

January 2: Third ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

January 5: First T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 7: Second T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 9: Third T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle (Test only), Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20s only), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

India Test squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar