Sport

Indian women struggle to 103/9 against Australia

Indian women struggle to 103/9 against Australia”

Harmanpreet Kaur held her nerve to steer India to victory with three balls to spare in the opening match of the tri-series in Canberra after opposite number Heather Knight helped England recover from a poor start with the bat.

The top four - Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmapreet - were all among the runs, but the middle-order, comprising Veda Krishnamurthy and Taniya Bhatia, struggled. The hosts Australia won in the Bowl out during that game. England sent their best batter of the day, Heather Knight along with opener Danny Wyatt and they had to face Ellyse Perry to chase 9 runs off the super over and get 2 points on the board. Her highest score in 61 T20Is played at other venues is 43 which came during the recent series in Malaysia against Pakistan. For India, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up two wickets each. This was the first instance of three players taking three or more catches in a Women's T20I match but Mooney and Carey recorded it in the same innings itself.

As they say, Australia's tail-enders can also bat, once again it was proved against England. Debutant Annabel Sutherland scored 22* from 11 balls with four boundaries towards the end to take the game into the Super Over.

The 29-year-old Perry shared small but important stands with Rachel Haynes and Jess Jonassen, doing the bulk of the scoring. Natalie Sciver (3/23) & Sarah Glenn (3/28) bowled beautifully on a good batting track and kept picking wickets at regular intervals. Her 49-run knock included eight boundaries. And, she will try to maintain her form in the next game as well. "You'd rather lose now than in six weeks' time in a World Cup semi-final". Captain Harmanpreet Kaur complements Smriti Mandhana with the team that needs some stability. Perry was the pick of the performers with 3 for 16 and an unbeaten 39 off 28. Australia will look to avenge this loss on Sunday against table-toppers India and it is expected to be a Super Game on a Super Sunday. It will be interesting to see whether India will win or Perry's brilliance will be the key.



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