Australian spinners bamboozle India
Opener Nicole Bolton struck an unbeaten 100 off 101 balls after Australian spinners bamboozled the Indian batting to set up a crushing eight-wicket win in the opening game of the three-match series, which is part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Bolton’s fourth ODI hundred ensured Australia reached a modest 201-run target in just 32.1 overs. The experienced Ellyse Perry (25 not out) hit the winning four.
India would have been bowled out for far less if it was not for the 76-run partnership between Sushma Verma (41) and Pooja Vastrakar (51) for the eighth wicket, helping them muster 200 in 50 overs.
Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen led a stellar show from the Australian spinners, taking four wickets for 30 runs in 10 overs. Leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington picked up three wickets and Ashleigh Gardner removed Smriti Mandhana (12).
It was a sweet result for the visitors, who had lost to India in the World Cup semifinals. The second ODI will be played here on Thursday.
Australia were never in any sort of difficulty during the chase with Bolton anchoring the innings. Her sublime innings was laced with 12 fours. Bolton’s opening partner Alyssa Healy made 38 and captain Meg Lanning 33 before being run out.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, India lost wickets at regular intervals before Vastrakar and Verma steadied the ship with sensible batting.
This was the 18-year-old Vastrakar’s maiden half century, and she laced her crucial knock with seven boundaries and a six, while Verma found the fence three times during her 71-ball innings.
The total looked a far cry when Shikha Pandey was dismissed in the 32nd over with the score reading 113/7. That was the time when Verma and Vastrakar joined hands to bail India out of a precarious situation.
The hosts were off to a steady start with openers, Punam Raut (37) and Mandhana, putting on 38 runs in nine overs.
Namo Mumbai Blasters began their T20 Mumbai League campaign on a winning note, beating Shivaji Park Lions by
12 runs at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
Put in to bat first, Blasters scored 182/5, riding on half centuries from skipper
and Aman Khan. Lions ended up scoring 170/9.
Lions couldn’t get the kind of start that was required in such a stiff chase. Just like the opponents, Lions couldn’t make the best use of Powerplay overs, and the asking rate kept climbing up steadily. Bravesh Shetty kept find-