Just as India was setting themselves for a monster first innings total in the first T20 of the multi-format series, the Gold Coast skies opened once again to rob us cricketing lovers of more action.
India has gotten themselves to 4/131 off 15.2 overs and was ready to launch to a big total which would have set up an enthralling chase as India continues to keep their hopes of claiming the multi-format series alive.
After both sides were awarded a point for the wash-out, Australia now holds a 7-5 lead with India needing to win the remaining two T20’s to claim the series.
As she has done all series, Meg Lanning won the toss and decided to send India in to bat in the first T20 match between the two sides since Australia’s triumphant World Cup win 18 months ago at the MCG.
India were buoyed by their form in the Test match and the return of batting superstars, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues, both making their first appearances out in the middle on the tour for the visitors.
Rodrigues continued her sparkling short format form from the UK when she was playing in The Hundred, finishing on 49* off 36 balls before they were called in for rain.
The first T20 also saw the return of Australian speedster Tayla Velaminck, who after careful management after injuries in recent years, played her first game of the series.
Speaking to media post-game, Vlaeminck, despite being made to wait around all day for the night game, said it was “cool” to be back, expressing her pride and gratitude every time she gets to pull on the Australian colours.
“Every time you get to pull on the green and gold it’s pretty exciting,” she said
“It was a long day, night games aren’t my favourite at the best of times. It’s been a long day wait but it was pretty cool to be back out there with the girls”
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Vlaeminck was one of 8 bowling options at skipper Meg Lanning’s disposal. Vlaeminck was given the responsibility of taking the new ball – a shift in thinking from Lanning after Ellyse Perry had taken the new ball in every other game this series for Australia. Despite a wild first over which included a no-ball and getting hit for 6 by Shafali Verma, Vlaeminck recovered to finish with 0-32 off her 4 overs.
With the Indians attacking hard early, Vlaeminck and the Australian bowlers were prepared for the hard-handed approach the Indian batters took to the Aussie bowling attack.
“We know that’s how they like to play. Especially Verma at the top. She’s quite an aggressive batter and they score a lot of their runs through boundaries so if we could try to control that, it would put us ahead in the game” she said.
“They got a few away from us early but we also managed to bowl a few dot balls as well.
“all in all, I thought it was a good effort from our bowlers”
Games 2 and 3 are set to be played on Saturday and Sunday at the same venue. With momentum firmly with the tourists, what trusty old reliable game-plan will Australia turn to seal the series before India take it from their grasp?
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