The first game of the India vs Australia T20 international series lived up to the hype with the new-look Australian team taking the win. Winning by nine wickets in Mumbai, the batting of Australia’s Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath and Beth Mooney clinched the opening game.
The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the five takeaways from the match ahead of Game Two.
The Australians continue their run
A masterclass took place in Mumbai with 25,000 fans witnessing what has become one of the best cricketing sides, take cafe of business. Australian notched up their highest ever T20 international chase, winning by nine wickets thanks to the efforts of star opener batter Beth Mooney.
Having won an Ashes Series, the ODI World Cup in New Zealand, the Commonwealth Games gold as well as having the T20 World Cup in the trophy cabinet, the Australian team has gone from strength to strength this year. With the win against India they keep their streak alive, having not lost a T20 game this calendar year.Embed from Getty Images
No Haynes, no Lanning, no worries
Without Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning, the powerhouse Australian side was without more than 200 games of experience. The usual suspects stepped up to ensure a win on Friday with batter/wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and young gun all-rounder Tahlia McGrath both duly supporting star opener Beth Mooney.
Healy struck 37 off 23 balls including four fours and two sixes, while McGrath came in to hit 40 not out off 29 deliveries, providing an anchor for Mooney to go large at the end of the innings.
It was also the captaincy of Healy in Lanning’s absence that yielded results, with her bowling changes providing consistent wickets which didn’t allow the Indian top-order to settle.
Mooney does it again
Having won the WBBL|04 title while battling her body, Australian opener Beth Mooney has again brushed aside illness and performed to perfection. Making the Indians pay for a dropped catch while on four, she struck an unbeaten 89 off 57 balls including a massive 16 fours.
Having not trained between her arrival in India on Sunday to the day before the match, her heroics came at the best time for her country, which also saw her take out the player of the match honours. She was pivotal for the side bringing up her half-century off 43 balls, with her partnership with Healy producing 73 runs for the first wicket stand.
After Healy departed, it was her unbeaten partnership with McGrath that iced the win with the duo completing the run chase with a 100-run stand.Embed from Getty Images
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Ghosh and Sharma explode
Key to India’s batting innings were the explosive performances of batter/wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh and all-rounder Deepti Sharma. When Australian debutant Kim Garth took the wicket of the Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Ghosh and Sharma hit back in a big way.
Ghosh arrived at the crease ready to prove a point after being left out of the Commonwealth Games squad that claimed silver in August. She struck 20 off 36 deliveries which included five fours and two sixes before her wicket was taken by Ashleigh Gardner in the 17th over.
She was replaced by Sharma at the crease whose enterprising innings of 36 (off 15 balls) included eight boundaries at a strike rate of 240. 40 runs were scored off the final three overs courtesy of the momentum created by the two big-hitters.
Garth the Aussie
After last representing Ireland in international cricket prior to 2020, debutant Kim Garth has now become the newest player to don a T20 cap for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team. Presented by someone that has been a supportive figure in her time at the Victorian state team Ellyse Perry, Garth has now become the first Australian woman to play cricket for two countries.
She was rewarded in the twelfth over of the first innings with her maiden T20 wicket for her new nation.
Game Two will take place in the early hours of Monday morning (Australian time) with the Indian side eager to make amends to level the series.
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