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Over the Moon: India lose nerve to concede second game and series; Beth Mooney scores ton for Australia

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Mackay (Australia), September 24

India and their premier bowler Jhulan Goswami failed to keep their nerves in a dramatic final over as Beth Mooney’s brilliant unbeaten hundred ensured a five-wicket win for Australia — their 26th on the trot — in the second women’s ODI here today.

Australia thus took a 2-0 lead in the three-match WODI series and India’s fragile bowling attack will now come under the scanner.

It was a great game played by both the teams, was thinking it was around 550 runs. The batting department has done really well. For me it was quite a nervous last ball because anything could have happened, we didn’t expect a no-ball but, it’s part of the game and we were all on the edge of our seat Mithali Raj, India Captain

It was pretty stressful watching. The way the game finished was quite incredible. We feel like we have that depth in our batting and bowling and we’ve seen that in the first two games. Both sides had their moments then that last over had it all Meg Lanning, Australia Captain

I was pretty disappointed that I left 13 for the last over but credit to Nic it was a great partnership at the end and thought we had really great plans Beth Mooney, player of the match

It was a match that was in India’s pocket till the 25th over of the Australian innings but Mooney, with an unbeaten 125, stunned the visitors in the third-highest chase of all-time in women’s ODI cricket by knocking off a target of 275.

In fact, the Indian team prematurely celebrated when Goswami’s waist high full-toss was hit straight to mid-wicket by Mooney but, to their horror, it turned out to be a no-ball. It was marginal as Goswami’s last ball was sent towards wide long-on for a couple to finish the match.

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3rd Australia pulled off the third-highest run-chase in women’s ODIs. It was their second highest, and the highest against India

With 13 needed off the last over, old guard Goswami was handed the ball with Mooney (125 off 133 balls) and Nicola Carey (39 not out off 38 balls) on the rampage on a dew-laden night.

Wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh and Poonam Yadav were put under extreme pressure as the batters got five off the first two balls and Goswami accidentally bowled a beamer that hit Carey on the helmet with the umpire rightly signalling a no-ball.

Ghosh’s inexperience once came through as she missed a run-out when five were required off the last two balls before the no-ball drama changed the course of the game.

But it was more about the poor show from Indian spinners Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav that led to Australia making a comeback after being 52/4. After a poor start to their chase, opener Mooney and Tahlia McGrath put on a 126-run fifth-wicket stand.

It was the highest total scored against Australia since their winning streak started in 2018 but the Indian bowlers undid all the good job by the batters.

Earlier, opener Smriti Mandhana hit a fluent 86 to guide India to 274/7 as the Indian batters gave a far better account of themselves compared to the first WODI.

Mandhana hit 11 boundaries to register her 19th half-century after the visitors were sent in to bat. She shared two crucial partnerships — 74 runs with Shafali Verma (22) and 76 runs with Richa Ghosh (44) — to help India set up a good total. Pooja Vastrakar (29) and Jhulan Goswami (28 not out) added 53 runs to help India breach the 250-run mark.

Brief scores: India 274/7 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 86, Richa Ghosh 44; Tahlia McGrath 3/45, Sophie Molineux 2/28, Darcie Brown 1/63); Australia: 275/5 in 50 overs (Beth Mooney 125*, Tahlia McGrath 74, Nicola Carey 39*; Meghna 1/38). — PTI

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