‘Incredible’: Australia loses its mind at win

The Aussies recorded the most nailbiting victory of their 26-game streak. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Australia has stretched its record-breaking WODI streak to 26 in unbelievable circumstances, with the second match against India going down to the last ball in Mackay on Friday night.

Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath and Nicola Carey were all instrumental as Australia recovered from a top-order batting collapse to chase down India’s strong total of 274.

When Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry were dismissed for only eight runs between them — the trio’s lowest ever combined total in an international innings where all three have batted — Australia looked at long odds to chase down the biggest target of the streak.

Read Next

However, just as young gun Darcie Brown turned in a player-of-the-match performance in the first game of the series, so too were McGrath and Mooney shining lights for the Aussies.

In just her seventh ODI, McGrath, 25, was Australia’s leading wicket-taker and recorded a career-best 74 runs, becoming only the fifth Aussie cricketer in the past decade to take three wickets and score a half-century in an ODI.

The pair combined at the crease for 126 runs to wrestle back the momentum, and when Mooney cut loose for her second-ever ODI century, the Aussies were in with a sniff.

Nicola Carey pitched in for a vital cameo as the contest began to go right down to the wire, with Australia requiring 13 runs from the final over.

In unforgettable scenes, Carey was caught on the final ball, only for the decision to be reviewed by the third umpire, who ruled India’s delivery was above waist height, so constituted a no ball.

Australia had a chance to win the game with two runs off the final ball, and Carey slogged to the deep to lock up Australia’s 26th straight ODI victory.

“Credit to Nic, it was a great partnership at the end there,” Mooney said.

“You’ve just got to run hard and I was pretty lucky I had a little bit in the tank there.”

The Aussies have now claimed the series with one game in hand and will take all the momentum into Sunday’s final ODI, as well as into the upcoming Test and T20I series, to be played in Queensland over the coming weeks.

Carey was the woman of the hour. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
Carey was the woman of the hour. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Indians looked intent on evening the ledger after Australia comfortably chased down their total in the first ODI of the series.

The Aussies were on the back foot from the outset — Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma formed India’s most fruitful opening partnership in an ODI since March 2019.

Just as valuable, though, was wunderkind Richa Ghosh. In only her second ODI, the 17-year-old added 44 runs to India’s total and managed to steady the ship after three wickets fell in quick succession.

Mandhana posted 86 runs but was dismissed by McGrath. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
Mandhana posted 86 runs but was dismissed by McGrath. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

During the lead-up to the series, the Aussie coaching staff was confident that Perry’s bowling was “as strong as it’s been”, but the 30-year-old was once again far from her dynamic best.

Perry hasn’t taken an ODI wicket since October 2019 and her dry spell will continue until at least Sunday.

In the absence of key bowling duo Jess Jonassen (injury) and Megan Schutt (personal reasons), the Aussie attack was forced to lean on its inexperienced members.

Sophie Molineux, McGrath and Brown came into the clash each with less than ten ODIs to their name, but were Australia’s only wicket-takers.

Brown couldn’t replicate her four-wicket heroics from the first match of the series — she bowled more overs than any of her teammates but had just the one wicket to show for it.

At the innings break, T20I star Molly Strano emphasised that the Aussies needed to stifle India’s momentum by producing a strong start in the power play.

The home side did just the opposite.

Healy was bowled only three balls into the innings for her first duck since 2016.

The five-year first clearly rattled the Aussies, who were timid and error-prone with the willow thereafter.

When fearsome trio Healy, Perry and Lanning fell, it was up to McGrath, Mooney and Carey to light the way home.

Fortunately, they were up for the challenge.

Read Next

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button