India hold their nerve in record chase to end Australia’s winning streak

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India Women 266 for 8 (Batia 64, Verma 56, Sutherland 3-30) beat Australia Women 264 for 9 (Gardner 67, Mooney 52, Goswami 3-37, Vastrakar 3-46) by two wickets

Big runs, baffling drops, bold catches, missed run-outs, a collapse, a front-foot no-ball ruling out a wicket, and… a record chase. If the humdinger from two nights ago needed a worthy follow-up, the third Australia vs India ODI in Mackay delivered it. If Australia asked for more than something special from the opposition to lose an ODI at long last, India delivered it. Albeit nervously, shoddily. The result: a thrilling two-wicket win for India, set up by Jhulan Goswami‘s 3 for 37 and sealed by her with the bat in the last over of the chase, to snap Australia’s world-record ODI-winning streak at 26 matches.

Before Goswami’s arrival, and her winning four over over left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux‘s head when the visitors needed three off the last four balls, plentiful drama had transpired. To avert a third straight loss, and a second morale-crushingly narrow defeat in under 36 hours, India needed 24 – and composure from their lower order – off the last four overs in their chase of 275. Their previous highest successful ODI chase was of 248, and their task here had been made more arduous by their efforts on the field, where they shelled four genuine chances as well as gave away misfields that cost them at least 15 runs.

Australia weren’t without their own flaws as a fielding unit, however, and they kept losing personnel – Rachael Haynes, Beth Mooney, and Sophie Molineux – to injuries as the chase went along. India exploited both developments as Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana built a breezy seventh-wicket stand of 33 that brought them back into the game after they had slipped from 160 for 1 to 208 for 6.

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