Ghana: Indian bowlers made a valiant effort with very few runs to defend before rookie Tahlia McGrath won a battle of nerves to the death, helping Australia win the second Women’s T20 International by four wickets. Batting first, India put up an inept performance at just 118 for nine, largely due to Pooja Vastrakar’s 37 off 26 balls.
Australia scored in 19.1 overs, courtesy rookie McGrath (42 not out off 33 balls), who scored 14 runs in Shikha Pandey’s 18th over, which proved to be a game-changer.
Renuka Singh’s inexperience also cost India as India got 13 runs in the 19th over with McGrath, playing in only his second T20 International, winning for the hosts. “We were 20 runs short on this track,” India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said after the game.
— Wasim Jaffer (@wasim jaffer14) October 9, 2021
Pandey (1/27 in 4 overs) bowled Alyssa Healy (1/27 in 4 overs) and Rajeshwari Gaikwad then controlled the middle overs by dismissing Meg Lanning (15). Pulling the Southern Stars captain out with a flight and letting the ball get enough hold to beat him. Ashley Gardner (1) was guilty of belting a half-tracker of Harmanpreet straight into point fielder Gaikwad.
Indian outfielding that day was very bad. Once Mooney was stumped off Gaikwad’s delivery and Nicola Carey was also stumped on a rebound off Richa Ghosh’s body, India came back at 94 for six, but needed Pandey and Renuka McGrath to help their team win. Couldn’t bowl hard to stop him from taking the side. .
Earlier, Vastrakar put up a fine display of power-hitting as his scintillating knock of 36 not out off 27 balls took India to 118 as they were batting at 81 for nine.
Affectionately called ‘Chhota Hardik’ by his Test captain Mithali Raj, Vaskatrakar has emerged as an all-rounder on this tour. Interestingly, India were 81 for nine after the 17th over and the tourists scored 37 runs in the last three overs. Vastrakar scored all runs in the company of Gaikwad, who could not open his account.
After an impressive performance in the first game, where his fearless batting was lauded, the Indian batsmen were flattered to cheat, as none other than captain Harmanpreet Kaur (28 off 20 balls) pushed the attack back into the opposition camp. Did not show intention to carry. Instead, there was an inexplicable batting collapse with the hit-pairing of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma falling at the pace of Tayla Vlaminck (2/18).
Then, spinners Sophie Molyneux (2/11 in 4 overs) and Ashleigh Gardner (1/12 in 4 overs) suppressed the batsmen with 27 dot balls and three wickets in the middle overs, breaking the backbone of their batting.