‘When we play against a team like Australia, you need to set a challenging score. We were short. Smriti was fantastic, but other batters need to step up. Great to have Jhulan back,’ says Harmanpreet Kaur. Lanning delighted with her team’s complete performance once again.
So that’s that then. If India were hoping to reverse their fortunes in the shortest format, it is not happening. And they would be praying to all the gods out there that Smriti Mandhana is not injured seriously - that could spell disaster for this batting lineup.
Alright then, join us for India’s game against England on Sunday.
End of the match - AUSTRALIA WIN: Different format, same result for India. The Aussies simply too good once again, chasing down 153 with 6 wickets and 11 balls to spare. Mooney the top-scorer with the bat. Lanning scores the winning runs with a boundary past short-third.
After 18 overs, Australia 152/4: Lanning tries to finish it off with a six but it’s a one bounce four. Just 1 needed now.
After 17 overs, Australia 147/4: Defeat seems imminent but there could be worse news for India. Smriti Mandhana hurt herself putting in a dive at the boundary, sliding over the ball. And seems like she is limping off the ground. Dhar returns and concedes 8... just 6 needed.
After 16 overs, Australia 139/4: Kaur might have just realised the match is over as Jemimah Rodrigues comes on to roll her arms over. Concedes 11 as Lanning continues to take a liking to the spinners - a beautiful cover drive the standout shot. Mandhana might have injured herself saving a boundary at midwicket.
After 15 overs, Australia 128/4: Well, if those two quick wickets gave India a glimmer of hope, captain Meg Lanning snuffs it out in no time. Four and a massive six off Harmanpreet’s over!
After 14 overs, Australia 116/4 - Villani gone! Well, is there a twist here? Aussies looked to be cruising but have lost both set batters in quick time. Villani chips one back to Poonam Yadav. The Southern Stars need 37 from 36 balls. Still easy enough but a couple more wickets here and you never know. Remember, Lanning is still at the crease and Perry is yet to come.
After 13 overs, Australia 112/3 - Jhulan strikes again: She has done her bit, has Jhulan Goswami. Finishes her spell with her third wicket and that of Mooney, who was looking as if she will rush to finish this chase. It’s a full ball, Mooney can’t dig it out - finds the fielder at mid-on. The damage might have already been done by Beth Mooney who falls for 45 off 32 balls.
After 12 overs, Australia 108/2: Mooney is cruising to her half century, batting on 45 now. A lovely shot off Anuja Patil in the 11th over, lofting over cover elegantly.
After 10 overs, Australia 95/2: Even Jhulan Goswami can’t stem the flow of runs. The Aussies now only need 58 runs from 60 balls. Just a few balls of singles and twos, and Mooney decides it’s time for a boundary - slaps a half volley over Jhulan’s head for four to bring an end to a very productive first 10 overs for Aussies.
After 8 overs, Australia 81/2: The powerplay might be over but not the power-hitting. 23 runs in the two overs after the fielding restrictions are over and the Aussies are cantering towards the target now. Poonam Yadav concedes 8 in the 7th over, and Rumeli Dhar concedes 16 in the 8th. Three boundaries in Dhar’s over as Vilani takes her medium pace on. Could be over very quickly this one.
After 6 overs, Australia 58/2: Early wickets or not, this is a fantastic start for Aussies. Mooney was a fraction of a second away from being runout. But now takes on Shikha Pandey with three boundaries in that over. 10 runs from the next over by Anuja Patil as Vilani hits a powerful slog for four. India’s fielding has been well below par so far - plenty of misfields.
After 4 overs, Australia 33/2: Eventful over from Anuja Patil. Almost gets Mooney runout in comical fashion. The batter comes down the track, hits it right back to the bowler. Patil immediately takes a shy at the stumps and Mooney lifts her leg that lets the ball through and hits the stumps! She has got her foot back JUST in time - fraction of a second away from losing her wicket in the most bizarre fashion. Next ball almost finds the fielder at mid-on with a leading edge.
After 3 overs, Australia 31/2: Jhulan Goswami gets hit for a couple of boundaries again. Jhulan Goswami strikes back by hitting the middle stump again. Gardner this time.
The control over what she wants to do with the ball in hand. Two away-going deliveries hit for boundaries, brings the ball back in immediately. Two wickets just like that. Jhulan Goswami is something else.
Anuja Patil comes on...
After 2 overs, Australia 21/1: Shikha Pandey comes on, concedes a couple of boundaries. Interesting move to promote Ash Gardner, who responds with an early boundary through cover. A pinch-hitter, it looks like.
After 1 over, Australia 10/1 - Jhulan Goswami strikes in the first over! She got hit for a couple of boundaries, one each by Mooney and Healy. But she comes back with an absolute peach. Gets the ball to dart back in from good length, Alyssa Healy is beaten all ends up! What a bowler. She’s all pumped up. Good return to international cricket after an injury break.
11:35 pm: Alright, time for Australia’s run-chase. And time to welcome Jhulan Goswami back in India’s colours after the injury break. Target for the Southern Stars is 153. Player of the series from ODIs, Nicole Bolton, is not in the T20I squad. It’s Beth Mooney and the in-form Healy to open the batting, Jhulan with the new ball.
End of Indian innings - 152/5 after 20 overs: Veda Krishnamurthy gives India the final push, takes her team past 150 with a four and a six off Megan Schutt in the final over.
India start & finish well, but it’s the middle phase that could hurt the women in blue. 152/5 is also the highest India have made against Australia - but one gets the feeling Kaur’s girls are short off a score that would challenge Australia. Join us in a bit for the run-chase.
After 19 overs, India 141/5: 4 - 4 - 4 - 2 - OUT! Anuja Patil was turning it on at the Brabourne but a wonderful cameo comes to an end as she finds deep midwicket off the last ball in that Kimmince over. Boundaries all around the ground - fine leg, point and long on. The fielding has been a bit off the mark for the Aussies.
35 off 21 balls for Anuja in that cameo - but India could yet fall short of 150.
After 18 overs, India 126/4: A couple of quiet overs after that over by Perry that caused carnage. 24 runs from the last 3 overs, and 14 off those from just the 18th! Anuja Patil starts that over with a good pull shot over fine leg for SIX. And gets a couple more boundaries in that over.
The T20 specialist must give India a good finish here if they are to challenge the Aussie batting lineup.
After 15 overs, India 102/4 - TWO WICKETS IN AN OVER BY PERRY: Oh dear, oh dear. This is a proper collapse from the Indian batting line-up. One brings two for Aussies after Mandhana’s wicket and the short-ball trap has worked against Jemimah. Perry bowls an effort ball, the youngster can only top-edge it to fine leg. Harmanpreet then plays a rash shot - this is a short ball (not a bouncer) by Perry and Kaur finds the midwicket fielder.
After 14 overs, India 100/2: BIG WICKET! And the one the Aussies desperately wanted. Mandhana’s fantastic innings comes to an end on 67 off 42 balls. She tries to hit Gardner over mid-on, can’t get any elevation.
After 12 overs, India 90/1: Harmanpreet Kaur gets going, two boundaries in one over off Kimmince - behind the stumps, either side of the pitch.
After 10 overs, India 72/1: And the partnership is broken. Mithali Raj is stumped off Gardner, gone for 18 off 27 balls. It’s a wicket-maiden too. India 72/1 after 10 overs and to think two of those have been maiden overs! Not a great innings by Mithali, she will be disappointed with that - almost felt like she knew she had to hit out or get out.
After 9 overs, India 72/0: SIX! And a breathtaking (we are not using that word lightly) half century by Smriti Mandhana. Gets there with a pull over square leg for six. 53* off 30 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes.
After 8 overs, India 60/0: “Simply scintillating stuff by Smriti Mandhana,” says the commentator and she is spot on. Back-to-back boundaries, either side of long off as debutant Molineux comes on to bowl her slow left arm orthodox. Terrific use of the feet on both occasions. Glorious driving! Moves on to 42 off 26 balls at the end of the 8th over.
End of powerplay, India 47/0 after 6 overs: Not quite the flying finish to the powerplay but 47 runs is a great return in 6 overs, effectively 5. Just a boundary in that over.
After 5 overs, India 41/0: Time for Mithali Raj to get going then! Schutt comes back for her second over and this time no dead-batting from Raj. Starts off the over with two boundaries - both in the point region. Solid start for India.
After 4 overs, India 33/0: Kimmince comes into the attack and Mandhana gets another lofted drive to reach the boundary line. She’s playing some fine, fine cricket at the moment.
After 3 overs, India 26/0: FOUR-SIX-FOUR! This is some start from Smriti Mandhana! Taking on the Aussie spinners in the powerplay. Has raced to 23 off 11 balls. Taking on Jess Jonassen in that over and in some style.
After 2 overs, India 12/0: Smriti Mandhana, who was in brilliant touch in the ODIs, gets going with a couple of gorgeous boundaries on the offside. Ash Gardener with the ball, as Aussies go to spin early but no problems for Mandhana who plays a lofted cover drive and a delicate late cut.
After 1 over, India 0/0: Mithali Raj loves to play out a maiden at the top of the order in T20Is doesn’t she? Maybe Smriti Mamdhana should take strike? Cautious start from the ODI captain, plays out a maiden over against Meg Schutt - accurate as ever.
09:55 pm: National Anthems done... Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana to open as expected.
09:50 pm: A look at the pitch...
09:50 pm: Rumeli Dhar AND Jhulan Goswami in the playing XI then. Interesting call by the Indian team management!
09:40 pm: Here’s how the teams stack up, in terms of their recent T20I form. Remember, India’s last T20I series saw them dominate a pretty good South African side in their own backyard. So the shortest format should see the Indian team perform better than the ODIs.
09:30 am: The coin goes and Australia skipper Lanning calls it right. And asks India to bat first at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
09:25: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the first T20I in the tri-series involving India, Australia and England. The venue is Mumbai for the opener where Harmanpreet Kaur and Co take on the Southern Stars. This series promises to be a cracker, with three excellent teams in the fray.