Navi Mumbai: Smriti Mandhana sizzled to script a famous win for India against the mighty Australia in a high-scoring second women’s T20 International here on Sunday.
Tahlia McGrath (70 not out off 51) and Beth Mooney (82 not out off 54) tore into the Indian bowling attack with their belligerent knocks to power Australia 187 /1 after the visitors were asked to bat.
In front of a packed D Y Patil Stadium, India were able to take the match right down to the wire after a whirlwind 76-run opening wicket stand between Mandhana (79 off 49) and Shafali Verma (34 0ff 23).
India needed 14 off the last over bowled by Megan Schutt and Devika Vaidya managed to find two fours to reach 187/5 and tie the game, forcing the game into the Super Over.
The home team put on 20 runs in the Super Over bowled by Heather Graham, thanks to a six and four from Mandhana after Richa Ghosh smashed the first ball for a maximum.
Renuka Thakur was able to defend that total under extreme pressure after getting rid of Alyssa Healy, handing Australia their first loss of the year.
The thrilling finish meant Indian women finally ended up on the right side of the result in a tense finish. It was also the first time that India featured in a game that was stretched to the Super Over.
With India’s win, The five-match series is levelled 1-1.
Earlier in the run chase, Mandhana changed gears after the fall of Shafali who was caught at extra cover off leg spinner Alana King.
Mandhana then shared a 61-run stand with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur who struggled for 22-ball 21.
Mandhana’s off side play was a treat to watch as usual but she got the bulk of the runs over the midwicket region.
She dispatched a full toss from King over deep mid wicket for a maximum before slog-sweeping her for a four to bring her half century. Her sublime knock brought the equation down to 55 runs off the last 30 balls.
After hitting a flat straight six off Sutherland in the 17th over, Mandhana fell to an avoidable shot. When she was executing her strokes in front of the wicket perfectly, she walked across the stumps for a paddle stroke and ended up disturbing her stumps.
Richa Ghosh came and hit three sixes to stun the opposition and played a big role in taking the match into a Super Over.