Australia Women defeated Indian Women by five wickets in an ultimate classic as they clinch the series and also continue their dominant run of 26 wins in a row. Beth Mooney, who scored unbeaten 125 runs was awarded player of the match.
Drama and chaos in the final over of the game
The final over was given to Jhulan Goswami to defend 13 runs. The Indian squad appeared to be under pressure, as there were a handful of misfields and overthrows. Experienced Jhulan also bowled a handful of no-balls, including one off the penultimate ball when three runs were required, which was caught at square leg. Indians celebrated, but the on-field umpires referred to the third umpire to check for a no-ball on height, which was determined to be barely above the waist by the third umpire. Carey then maintained her composure on the final ball, swiping two to secure the win.
Controversy over no-Ball
It boiled down to a few millimetres and a gruelling third umpire decision. Gillespie had to a) determine where Carey’s waist would have been if she had been standing upright at the popping crease,’ and then b) determine if the ball would have passed above that position or the ball was dipping enough. Ultimately, the third umpire ruled that it was barely above the waist. It has to be said that this is a rational decision. [credits – cricket.com.au]
Mandhana – The star performer
Smriti Mandhana, a young Indian leftie, was a standout performer, scoring 86 runs off just 94 balls. The Indians were able to score 274 runs thanks to a strong opening partnership and contributions from the lower middle order. Mithali Raj’s poor form continued as she was dismissed for only 8 runs in 23 balls. In comparison to the previous games, the Indian contingent batted reasonably well.
No quitting in Beth Mooney
Beth Mooney had faith in herself even when the odds were stacked against her and Australia was only 52/4. As the dew began to fall, the game shifted as Mooney-McGrath’s partnership continued to grow. The ball slid on smoothly, and the spinners couldn’t perform. It was also due to Indian spinners Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav’s poor performance that Australia was able to make a comeback. Deepti Sharma finally got McGrath after a 126-run partnership, although Mooney did an excellent job as the anchor and led her team to the victory.
It would not be unreasonable to say that India gifted Australia this victory, just as they did against England in the World Cup Finals. Australia’s never-say-die attitude and India’s inability to bear pressure won the game. Misfields, fumbles, and wasteful throws at the stumps when a run-out was impossible. Fair to say that the fielding was the difference in the end as they crumbled under pressure. It was too much for even seasoned veterans like Jhulan and Mithali to manage. Then, in cricket, the predictable occurs: Australia winning a close game and the streak continues.