Aus­tralian spin­ners bam­boo­zle In­dia

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

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-

—TWIT­TER/@CRICKETAUS

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