If you let your opposition opening batter score a century, a target of 200 is never going to be enough on any kind of pitch. This is what has exactly happened in the first One Day International (ODI) match between India Women and Australia Women in Vadodara on Monday (March 12th).
India’s Captain Mithali Raj ruled out of the match due to illness. Harmanpreet Kaur lead India in Mithali’s absence and Meg Lanning has recovered from her shoulder injury to lead Australia.
Having won the toss, India opted to bat first. None of the Indian top – 6 batters were able to cross the 40-run mark. Eventually India lost their first 7 wickets for just 113 runs, which is not a great sign for any team batting first.
Wicket Keeper Sushma Verma (41) along with no. 9 batter Pooja Vastrakar (51) added 76 runs for the eighth wicket. This partnership helped India get to a respectable total of 200/10 in their 50 overs. However, the target of 201 never looked enough for the mighty Aussies during the chase.
Australian spinners Jess Jonassen and Amanda Wellington did not let Indian batters fly away with regular strikes in the first innings. This spin duo picked up 7 wickets between them with Jess getting 4 wickets against her name.
Visitors started the chase well and finished the game in just 32.1 overs with some powerful hitting. None of the Indian spinners are successful in picking up a wicket.
Australian opener Nicole Bolton starred with the bat as she scored an unbeaten hundred to take Australia home by 8 wickets. Bolton remained unbeaten on 100* of 101 balls with 12 Fours at the end of the innings. This is her fourth ODI century overall and first against India Women.
India are without the services of Jhulan Goswami, who is ruled out of this 3-match series with a heel injury. Her absence was clearly felt in the Indian team in both the bowling and batting departments.
A win by 8 wickets with 17.5 overs to spare, Laxman Siva Ramakrishnan has rightfully quoted this win as a ‘Victory by a mile’. Indians have to regroup themselves before taking field in the second ODI after this heart breaking loss.
With this win, Australia take a lead of 1 – 0 in the 3 match series. The second ODI will be played on March 15th and third (final) ODI will be played on March 18th.
*Photo credits to ESPNcricinfo