First of three ODIs: Indian women begin home season with a tough test.
Mithali Raj unavailable: The Indian captain misses out due to illness.
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A mighty convincing win for the mighty Aussies to get going in this three-match series. India have plenty to ponder and the best way forward, one thinks, is to just put this match behind and treat this is a two-match series. Because, frankly, there wasn’t much positive to talk about India’s game today except for a late fightback by Pooja Vastrakar and Sushma Verma with the bat. India will know they are better than this and it will back to the drawing board.
The 2nd ODI is on Thursday, do join us then.
Harmanpreet Kaur: We have to focus on our batting. Credit to Pooja, she played well in South Africa too. Only knew today morning that Mithali di won’t be playing. We didn’t play good cricket & didn’t deserve to win. The total wasn’t enough & the bowlers didn’t bowl as per plan.
Meg Lanning: ‘It was nice to finish off nice and early. Our consistency with the ball and fielding was not quite there, need to work on that. Bolton led the way in the chase.;
Player of the match , for her wonderful century - Nicole Bolton: Was really looking forward to this series, India are a great team. It’s right up there with me (the century). I was seeing double towards the end, getting tired, just wanted to make sure I was there till the end.
It’s all over in Vadodara - a convincing win for Southern Stars: A 8-wicket win with 18.5 overs to spare. What a dominating performance. Nicole Bolton the star with the century, Ellyse Perry applies the finishing touch with a sweep to fine leg for four.
There is never any shame in losing to Australia but the overall ease with which the visitors won today will be a cause of concern for the Indian think-tank. The women in blue were just never in the game.
CENTURY FOR NICOLE BOLTON: What an innings from the Aussie opener! She got a big reprieve from Gayakwad and she has made the most of it - getting to her 4th ODI century. Only 12th boundaries - meaning 52 off the 100 runs have been hard-earned. Australia just need 3 more to win.
After 30 overs, Australia 183/2 - DRINKS: Bolton wants that century! Poonam Yadav has been dealt with quite easily by the Aussies, especially Bolton. Slog sweeps powerfully for four, moves on to 89.
After 29 overs, Australia 175/2: 22 runs from the last four overs and only one boundary - the last ball of the 29th as Bolton punches through cover. Players seem to be going through the motions and seems the crowd has been quietened too as defeat has become rather inevitable for India. Bolton has moved into her 80s and can still pick up a century to her name!
After 25 overs, Australia 149/2: Bolton has decided to up the ante after reaching her 50, finding the boundaries with regularity - the latest, putting away a rank short ball from Kaur to the square leg. No respite for Indian bowlers of course, with Australia’s top women cricketer of the last year, Ellyse Perry walking into bat.
And in a moment that sumps up India’s day, Gayakwad puts down the simplest of chances at square leg as Bolton mistimed her sweep off Yadav completely. Poor shot, poorer effort on the field.
After 22 overs, Australia 134/2 - Lanning gone! Perhaps the only way India were going to break this partnership. A massive mixup between Bolton and Lanning as the half-centurion sells her captain short after calling for a quick single. Veda with a direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Bolton keeps going though, with a powerful loft over mid-on off Pandey.
After 21 overs, Australia 128/1 - FIFTY FOR BOLTON: Not a wanderer is Nicole Bolton, nothing aimless about this innings so far. She has been at it from the word go, gets to her fifty in the 20th over, has taken 57 balls. India need something extraordinary to win from here. Harmanpreet has brought on Shikha Pandey as the spinners have not effective in getting her the wickets.
After 19 overs, Australia 120/1: Aussies keep striking at over 6 an over, and this match is definitely slipping out of India’s grasp. Harmanpreet Kaur comes on to bowl, hoping to break the partnership herself but concedes 7. Bolton two runs away from her 50 now, as she has been sweeping the spinners to great effect. Jemimah’s fielding has been top notch in the deep though.
After 16 overs, Australia 100/1: All to easy for Australia. 10 runs from the 16th over as Australia reach 100 a whole 12 overs before India did! After two quiet overs (not that quiet overs matter now) Lanning slams Deepti for a couple of boundaries in the 16th.
After 13 overs, Australia 87/1: With Meg Lanning around, there was very little chance that the scoring rate was going to go down. She’s raced to 16 off 16 balls, with three boundaries to her name - the latest a glance to fine leg after a pull shot through midwicket. A boundary a over will bring the target very near. Bolton has moved to 30 off 34 balls.
End of powerplay, Australia 67/1 after 10 overs: Despite that late setback, Aussies have dominated the powerplay and are well on course to chase down 201. Meg Lanning walks into bat after a break of over 7 months and with the first ball she faces (a risky single) she becomes the second fastest to score 3000 runs in ODIs! What a cricketer.
After 9.1 overs, Australia 60/1 - Healy gone: A solid 29-ball 38 for the opening bat, and just as she was unleashing her range of shots (with two more boundaries off Gayakwad’s first over) - Pandey strikes. This is a gift from Healy. Pandey bowls wide and short, and Healy hits it straight to short point where Veda takes a simple catch.
FIFTY WICKETS FOR SHIKHA PANDEY.
After 8 overs, Australia 51/0: Nothing working yet for Harmanpreet. Healy had raced ahead and it’s Bolton’s turn to catch up with her opening partner. A lofted cut short past point for four off Shikha Pandey’s over, followed by a sweep past square leg off Deepti...
A quick-fire 50-run stand and this could end in a hurry if India don’t get wickets.
After 6 overs, Australia 38/0: Healy is such a dangerous bat, and she is showing just why. A nonchalant flick over midwicket for a six as she picks up Shikha’s offcutter nice and early. First six of the innings.
Predictably, Harmanpreet turns to spin early. Comes in in the sixth over and should have a wicket off the first ball. Bolton tries to square cut, takes a thick edge and goes past Veda at first slip who was slow to react. Will go down as a dropped catch. Healy then pulls with aplomb for another boundary - she’s raced to 28 off 19 balls.
After 4 overs, Australia 18/0: Vastrakar has conceded a boundary off each of her first two overs - this time off the last ball, as she drops short and Healy pulls it past midwicket. Bolton did the same off the last ball of the previous over by Shikha and this is now a solid start for the Aussies.
After 2 over, Australia 6/0: Vastrakar starts with a loosener, full and swinging away outside the offstump Healy strokes it away for the first boundary of the innings. Vastrakar’s strength is that gentle away shape but that sort of width will be punished.
After 1 over, Australia 0/0: Good start by Shikha, southpaw Bolton plays out a maiden with a packed offside field.
12:55 pm: All set for the run-chase...
Innings break: A good recovery by India but what would please the dugout more is the fact that the spinners were tough to put away on this pitch. Jess Jonassen got four wickets, while Wellington got three. Deepti, Poonam and Co will be hoping that means they can put this Aussie batting lineup under pressure.
Be back with the Aussie innings shortly.
END OF INDIAN INNINGS - 200 all out in 50 overs: Round numbers all around - 200/10 after 300 deliveries and this is a good recovery by India from 113/7. Vastrakar dismissed by a relay catch in the deep after her fifty, Yadav run out of the last ball.
Against a powerhouse of an Aussie batting lineup, this might not still be enough but a chance for the Indian spinners to make a match out of this. And a little bit of momentum to boot as well - all thanks to a wonderful partnership between Vastrakar and Verma.
FIFTY FOR POOJA VASTRAKAR: In the final over of the innings, India’s No 9 bat, Pooja Vastrakar gets to her maiden ODI fifty - what a great effort. And a record to boot.
After 48 overs, India 191/8 - Sushma dismissed: The Indian wicketkeeper has played a little gem (41 off 71 balls) and gets out playing perhaps the best-timed shot of her innings - finds the fielder in the deep with a powerful sweep. No mistakes from Australia this time.
Meanwhile, loud cheers as Mithali Raj comes on the big screen Indian fans would be hoping she recovers & returns to the Playing XI soon
After 47 overs, India 189/7 - India’s highest 8th wicket partnership in ODIs! The Vastrakar-Verma partnership rolls on! 76 off 92 for the 8th wicket, the best for India in ODIs. Vastrakar plays one of the shots of the match with a lofted extra cover drive for four and moves to within one strike of a half century. What a knock.
After 45 overs, India 178/7: Australia’s fielding has taken a turn for worse! 15 runs from Perry’s over after three boundaries - the third of which was a horrendous misfield at deep square leg by Gardner. Vastrakar and Verma get a boundary each to third man before that. And 220 seems a real possibility now out of nowhere with 5 overs to go!
After 44 overs, India 163/7 - 50-run partnership: Well done, Vastrakar (31) and Verma (29). The two V’s have staged a nice little fightback, riding on the chances offered by the Aussie fielders.The landmark has come in 73 balls, these are vital, vital runs
After 42 overs, India 156/7 - Vastrakar is playing a little gem: 16 runs from the last 2 overs and that is the best two-over spell for India after the first 2 overs in the innings when the Indians made 18. Vastrakar has moved on to 30 with a six over long-on off Gardner - a well-timed slog sweep! She drove Schutt past mid-off for a four as well.
After 40 overs, India 140/7 – end of batting powerplay: 22 runs is not the greatest return from the powerplay usually, but in the situation India are in, they will take a five-over spell without losing a wicket – with some generous help from the Aussies though.
After 39 overs, India 136/7 - lifelines for India: Australia seem determined to not end this Indian innings early. Their effort in the field has been a mixed bag! Some fine catches taken, but after some misfields early on, now a dropped catch and a blown runout opportunity in quick succession. First Vastrakar is put down by Lanning at mid-off and the Verma, who had given up on her wicket, gets a life as Schutt fails to collect a throw from the deep.
A nice little partnership for India this one...
After 36 overs, India 126/7: Few overs without losing a wicket. Overs 33, 34, and 35 went for five runs combined as Wellington and Gardner keep things tight. Wellington is getting some excellent turn and bounce when she flights and lands the ball in good length - Poonam Yadav will be encouraged by that.
BATTING POWERPLAY starts from over 35 and Vastrakar takes the initiative and hits a couple of boundaries to bring some cheer for the crowd - both hit straight, and exploiting the fact that the mid-on and mid-off are inside the circle.
After 32 overs, India 113/7 - Pandey dismissed: Oh dear. Like we said, India have a long tail and that’s already starting to hurt. Shikha Pandey’s reputation as an allrounder will continue to be questioned - some day she will have to make her talent with the bat count. Another soft dismissal as she chips Jonassen straight to mid-on.
SIX OUT OF THE SEVEN WICKETS HAVE GONE TO AUSSIE SPINNERS...
After 31 overs, India 112/6 - VEDA GONE: Lanning’s tactic to use Wellington in short bursts (a leg spinner in short bursts!) has worked a treat. She has taken her 3rd wicket in her fourth over and this is her third “spell” - Veda isn’t really known for her patience and she chips one to Mooney at short cover for a straight forward catch. India’s innings could end in a hurry here with a long tail.
After 30 overs, India 108/5 - DRINKS: The 100 comes up for India in the 28th over with a single by Veda. Sushma gets a boundary off the very next ball to ease the pressure on herself, thanks to a misfield at short-third. Aussie ground fielding has been a bit off today. Jonassen bowls a maiden in the 30th over as the players break for drinks again.
After 27 overs, India 99/5: Veda continues to keep her SR above 100, dances down the track and lofts Gardner over midwicket for a one-bounce four. Sushma taking her time at the other end, batting on 2 off 15 balls. Dot ball percentage has proved to be an issue for India today.
Mithali has spoken more than once in the recent past about how India’s lower-middle order needs to deliver with the bat more - a massive chance for Veda, Sushma and Co to do just that.
After 24 overs, India 88/5 - HARMANPREET GONE! Well, well. Not even half the number of overs are done, but half the Indian batting lineup is back in the hut. And what’s worse, it’s the entire top half as Harmanpreet Kaur is the latest to go. Trouble just became deep trouble. It’s a clever legcutter by Schutt, Harman tries to trickle this past the keeper for a single, but the edge is too fine and Healy takes a sharp catch! BRILLIANT bowling.
After 23 overs, India 87/4 - DEEPTI GONE: A soft dismissal for a positive-looking Deepti Sharma. She sweeps a flat delivery to the fielder at square leg, Jonassen makes it the fourth wicket for a spinner today! In walks Veda Krishnamurthy and shows what her approach is going to be. Steps out and hits Jonassen over cover for four!
After 22 overs, India 83/3: Harman and Deepti dealing in singles. Schutt comes back into the attack, India desperately need a partnership here. It’s been known for a while that this Indian team doesn’t bat very deep.
After 20 overs, India 76/3: Well, Deepti Sharma has decided she is going to do something about the rut India find themselves in. Started off with a four in the Wellington over that saw Raut walk back. And now in Wellington’s next, she welcomes the leggie with a six over long on! Great use of the feet. Completely against the run of play, a nine-run over for India. She has raced past her captain in no time with Kaur on 8 off 22 balls.
After 18 overs, India 65/3 - RAUT GONE! She’s been the only Indian batter who looked in good touch this morning so far and she falls to the sweep shot to the wrist spinner. Wellington, who was taken off the attack after one wicket in her first over, comes back and gets a wicket in her second. Tossed up on the middle stump, Raut tries to sweep, misses it completely, it hits her on the ribs - but heading to the stumps. A shy appeal from the bowler, a delayed decision by the umpire.
Big wicket for Aussies, just what their pressure deserved. The Indian innings has hit a big-time rut.
After 15 overs, India 52/2 - DRINKS: Fifty up for India with a powerful square drive from Skipper Kaur. But the scoring rate is still down for India - 34 runs from the last 13 overs after 18 from the first two, tells you a story. We are also (almost) losing track of the bowling changes Lanning is making. Gardner-Caraey-Wellington-Carey-Perry-Carey in the last six overs.
After 12 overs, India 46/2 - JEMIMAH GONE! Oh dear, India are losing their way here a bit after a solid start. Wellington brought into the attack and her gentle wrist spin proves to be the teenagers undoing - she tries to tickle this to fine leg for a single, gets a faint edge and Healy takes a fine catch. Interesting move from Lanning to take Ash Gardner out of the attack after she got Mandhana out but Wellington delivers for her skipper!
And out walks Harmanpreet... big phase in the game this.
End of powerplay, India 44/1 after 10 overs - Mandhana dismissed: The move to bring in the spinner in the powerplay pays off for the Aussies! Mandhana had come under increasing pressure in the past few overs, unable to get going or get off strike. The pressure finally pays as she tries to heave over mid-on, top edges the slog sweep and Lanning takes a simple catch. Raut continues to deal in boundaries though, lofting Gardner over midon (just about) for a four.
Young Jemimah is in for her debut!
After 9 overs, India 38/0: Change in bowling from both ends for Australia. Spinner Ash Gardner into the attack in the 8th over, gives away only one run - cautious from Mandhana as Gardner tosses it up but keeps a good length. The Indians clearly focussed on keeping their wickets intact in the powerplay. Debutant Carey from the other end - skiddy action, with the keeper standing up. Starts off her career with five dot balls with Raut trying to get a single, but unable to - the last ball of the over, Raut picks it up from the offstump and sends it over square leg for the FIRST SIX!
After 7 overs, India 31/0: The scoring rate has gone down considerably. Schutt is keeping Mandhana in check with that angle from over the wicket and packing the offside field. Perry doing well at the other end too. Just one boundary conceded to Raut, who has been cover driving well all morning - but that went to the boundary off a misfield. Gift from Aussies. Mandhana gets a lucky double in the 7th over off a overthrow from a direct hit as she looks to rotate more - the Indian openers must do that regularly.
After 4 overs, India 24/0: Schutt comes back well to concede just 1 run in the third over. Mandhana plays out five dot balls, playing a few cover drives but can’t get it past the packed offside field. The Aussies have done their home work. Decent over from Perry at the other end too, just the one bad ball on Mandhana’s pads, glanced for four. A tight single in that over - India’s strong point is not running between the wickets.
After 2 overs, India 18/0: A solid start for INDIA! Two gorgeous drives to start the morning. That was most pleasing to watch. First Punam Raut, gets off the mark with an elegant drive off the second ball. Smriti Mandhana, enjoying a rich vein of form, starts with an ever more exquisite off drive past the bowler for her first over. 10 from Megan Schutt’s first over.
Ellyse Perry from the other end - and Raut continues to drive with confidence. Two boundaries for her in that over. One behind square, one in front!
And we are underway in Vadodara!
08:58 am: National Anthems done! Looks like a decent crowd has turned up at Vadodara. This should be a cracker.
08:50 pm: And don’t forget... this is also the return to international action for Aussie captain Meg Lanning, who has been out injured ever since the world cup semifinal. Welcome back, Meg!
She had been out of competitive cricket for seven months as she recovered from shoulder surgery. She hasn’t played since Australia were knocked out in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 by India, missing the multi-format Ashes at home against England.
“It felt a bit like my first tour, heading over here!” said Lanning. “I’m really excited to be here and back around the group.”
(With ICC inputs)
08:45 am: The big news is, of course, Mithali Raj missing out but in equally important news - Jemimah Rodrigues makes her ODI debut. A massive moment for the Mumbai teenager.
08:40 am: The last time these two sides met in an ODI... it was the Harmanpreet Kaur show. A stunning 171 that perhaps redefined Indian cricket.
08:35 am: Meanwhile, at Indian Wells, some great news for Indian tennis to start the day with...
08:30 am: There were indications that Mithali Raj might not be fit for the match today after she missed the pre-series press conference on Sunday - and it indeed seems to be case. Harmanpreet has walked out for the toss and she wins it. Opts to bat first.
08:25 pm: The ODIs, as is the case these days, are part of the ICC Women’s Championship, building towards the next World Cup and this is how it is shaping as of now.
08:20 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the first ODI between India and Australia in the ICC Women’s Championship. This also marks the beginning of a crucial home stretch for Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet and Co. All three ODIs are being played in Vadodara.