Aussies knock off target of 275 in third highest chase of all-time in women's cricket.
India and their premier bowler Jhulan Goswami failed to hold 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, in Mackay, on Friday.
Australia thus took a 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, bringing India's fragile bowling attack under the scanner.
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 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.
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.
Keeper Richa Ghosh and Poonam Yadav were put under extreme pressure as they got five off first two and Goswami accidentally bowled a beamer that hit Carey flush on the helmet and the umpire rightly signalled a no-ball.
Ghosh's inexperience once came through as she missed a run-out when five were required off the last two balls as the no-ball drama changed the course of the game.
But it was more about a poor show from India’s spinners Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav that led to Australia making a comeback after being reduced to 52 for 4.
It was the highest total scored against Australia since their winning streak started in 2018 but the Indian bowlers undid all the good work by the batters.
Goswami bowled an absolute ripper that dismissed Alyssa Healy (0)while skipper Meg Lanning (6) was dismissed by Meghna Singh when Rajeshwari Gayakwad took a fine catch in the deep.
Puja Vastrakar then effected a diving run out of Elyse Perry while Gayakwad got her name on wicket-takers’ list after seeing the back of Ashleigh Gardner.
Mooney and Tahlia McGrath (74 off 77 balls) consolidated in style during their 126-run fifth-wicket stand. While Gayakwad was steady with her wicket-to-wicket lines, young Meghna and seasoned Jhulan also tried keeping things tight.
Yadav (6-0-38-0), who has not been in best of form throughout 2021, and Sharma (9-0-60-1) were not very consistent with their lines in their first spells as runs started flowing post the 25th over.
Ditto for Puja Vastrakar (8-0-43-1), who also erred in length, giving away a lot of boundary balls.
India finally had some luck going their way when Sharma bowled a rubbish half-tracker which McGrath deposited into the hands of Yastika Bhatia at short fine-leg.
However, in the 42nd over, bowled by Vastrakar, the seasoned Mooney got two boundaries and put Mithali Raj's brigade under real pressure.
Earlier, Mandhana hit a fluent 86 to guide India to a competitive 274 for 7 as India batters gave a far better account of themselves compared to the first ODI.
Mandhana hit 11 boundaries to register her 19th half-century after the visitors were sent in to bat. She shared two crucial partnerships -- 76 runs with Richa Ghosh (44) and 74 runs with Shafali Verma (22) -- to help India set up a good total.
India were off to a flying start with Mandhana and Shafali (22) racing to 68/0 in the first 10 overs, their best in the 10 ODIs they have played this year.
But the threatening opening stand was soon broken by spinner Sophie Molineux in the 12th over as she dismissed the latter.
A mix up then led to skipper Mithali Raj's (8) run out followed by Yastika Bhatia's (3) departure as the hosts made a strong comeback.
Mandhana and Ghosh then steadied the ship, keeping the scoreboard ticking but the opener sliced it straight to point which marked the end of her innings.
Pooja Vastrakar (29) and Jhulan Goswami (28 not out) added 53 runs to help India breach the 250-run mark.
Tahlia McGrath (3/45) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia with Molineux picking 2 for 28.
Smriti Mandhana c Mooney b Tahlia McGrath 86
Shafali Verma b Molineux 22
Mithali Raj run out 8
Yastika Bhatia c Gardner b Darcie Brown 31
Richa Ghosh b Tahlia McGrath 44
Deepti Sharma c Perry b Tahlia McGrath 23
Pooja Vastrakar b Molineux 29
Jhulan Goswami not out 28
Extras: (b-5, lb-9, w-17) 31
Total: (For 7 wkts, 50 Overs) 274
Fall of Wickets: 1-74, 2-88, 3-95, 4-171, 5-199, 6-221, 7-274
Bowling: Ellyse Perry 5-0-32-0, Darcie Brown 10-0-63-1, Ashleigh Gardner 6-0-30-0, Sophie Molineux 8-0-28-2, Nicola Carey 8-1-26-0, Hannah Darlington 4-0-36-0, Tahlia McGrath 9-0-45-3.
Alyssa Healy b Goswami 0
Beth Mooney not out1 125
Meg Lanning c Gayakwad b Meghna Singh 6
Ellyse Perryrun out 2
Ashleigh Gardner c Yastika Bhatia b Pooja Vastrakar 12
Tahlia McGrath c Yastika Bhatia b Deepti Sharma 74
Nicola Carey not out 39
Extras: (b-3, lb-4, w-7, nb-3) 17
Total: 275/5 in 50 overs
Fall of wickets: 0-1, 11-2, 34-3, 52-4, 178-5
Bowling: Jhulan Goswami 8-0-40-1, Meghna Singh 9-2-38-1, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 1-0-0-49-0, Pooja Vastrakar 8-0-43-1, Poonam Yadav 6-0-38-0, Deepti Sharma 9-0-60-1.