CommBank T20 INTL Tri-Series
India shock Aussies in superb T20 chase
Australia lose for second time in three matches as India race out of the blocks to chase down Australia's 5-173 in final over for a thumping seven-wicket win
Laura Jolly at Junction Oval
8 February 2020, 03:29 PM AEST
The match in a tweet: India pull off stunning chase to set-up do-or-die clash for Australia against England at Junction on Sunday
The Score: Australia 5-173 (Gardner 93, Lanning 37; Sharma 2-27) lost to India 3-177 (Mandhana 55, Verma 49; Schutt 1-26) by seven wickets in 19.4 overs at Junction Oval, Melbourne
The Form: Heading into this tri-series, Australia had lost only three of 26 T20Is since the start of 2018 – now they have lost two of their past three. That will give their coaching staff plenty to ponder with their World Cup starting against India on February 21.
The Heroes: Shafali Verma (49 from 28) and Smriti Mandhana (55 from 48) ensured the pressure on the Australia bowlers never let up as they launched the chase with an aggressive 85-run opening stand.
Verma only turned 16 on January 28 but the India opener showed precisely zero fear against the much-lauded Australia attack as she hammered 49 from 28 deliveries. She hit Ellyse Perry for three boundaries in the second over of India's chase and while Australia continued to change up their attack, no one had a solution.
The right-hander welcomed Sophie Molineux back to international cricket with three consecutive boundaries from her first three deliveries, before finally falling when Perry returned to bowl the ninth over, caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary.
It has been rare for anyone to outshine the classy Smriti Mandhana over the last few years, but Verma is quickly getting a knack for it just 13 matches into her international career.
Mandhana played second fiddle to Verma early, but ensured the pressure remained right on Australia when her opening partner fell. The left-hander has strong record on Australian wickets and has been building into this tri-series nicely, with her half-century today adding to scores of 15, 35 and 45 in her first three matches.
The Support Cast: First drop Jemimah Rodrigues also continued the momentum with her quickfire 19-ball 30, while the ball, the death overs delivered by Shikha Pandey and Rajeshwari Gayakwad were crucial in tying back the Australians after they had looked on track for a total in excess of 180, if not 200. Pandey allowed just two runs from the 19th over, before Gayakwad, after being hit for six by Perry, leaked just three from her last five balls.
The Consolation Act: Ashleigh Gardner produced her swash-buckling best in a career-high 93 from just 57 deliveries. Gardner had missed out twice after being returned to No.3 last weekend, but the Australia's persistence with employing Gardner when opener Alyssa Healy falls early paid off in spades this time.
After Healy was dismissed for a third-ball duck, it took aggressive right-hander Gardner six balls to get off the mark and at one point she was 23 from 18, before she flicked the switch in stunning fashion, smacking left-arm Rajeshwari Gayakwad over the rope in the sixth over.
Gardner brought up her fifty from just 33 deliveries and while a couple of skied shots could have brought about her demise, they landed safe. She passed her previous best international score of 63no before offering the only real chance of her innings on 86 when Taniya Bhatia missed a regulation stumping.
A maiden century beckoned, but went begging when she holed out to mid-off in the 17th over, ending a knock that features three sixes and 11 fours.
The Stat: Lanning's innings saw her overtake former England captain Charlotte Edwards (2605) to move to third on the all-time run scorers' list for women's T20Is, behind only New Zealand's Suzie Bates (3125) and West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor (2900).
The Tri-Series: Australia and England will meet in Sunday at Junction Oval in front of what promises to be a bumper Junction Oval crowd, with tickets for the game – and the Bushfire Cricket Bash game to follow – sold out. After two shock defeats, Australia need to defeat England to keep their hopes of making the tri-series final alive – even then, it would be a matter of net run rate, as all three teams would be locked on two points.
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Rachel Haynes, Sophie Molineux, Jess Jonassen, Nicola Carey, Delissa Kimmince, Megan Schutt
India XI: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues , Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav
CommBank T20I tri-series
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
First T20I: India beat England by five wickets
Second T20I: England beat Australia in Super Over
Third T20I: February 2, Australia v India, Manuka Oval
Fourth T20I: February 7, India v England, Junction Oval
Fifth T20I: February 8, Australia v India
Sixth T20I: February 9, Australia v England
Final: February 12, Junction Oval
* All matches will be broadcast on the Seven Network and Fox Cricket, live stream on Kayo and the CA Live app or listen on ABC Grandstand
2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup
February 15: Australia v West Indies, Allan Border Field
February 18: Australia v South Africa, Karen Rolton Oval
February 21: Australia v India, Sydney Showgrounds
February 24: Australia v Sri Lanka, WACA Ground
February 27: Australia v Bangladesh, Manuka Oval
March 5: Semi-final 1, SCG
March 5: Semi-final 2, SCG
March 8: Final, MCG
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE
* All matches will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, while Australia’s matches will also be broadcast on the Nine Network