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1st T20I: Clinical India Women crush Australia by 9 wickets, go 1-0 up in three-match series | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: In a resounding performance, the revitalized India Women’s team dominated Australia, securing a comprehensive nine-wicket victory in the first T20I to take a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series in Navi Mumbai on Friday.
Guided by Titas Sadhu‘s career-best figures of 4 for 17, India successfully restricted Australia to a modest 141. The opening duo of Smriti Mandhana (54) and Shafali Verma (64 not out off 44 balls) then unleashed a spectacular assault on the visitors, forging a formidable 137-run partnership at the DY Patil Stadium.
Despite missing the last two ODIs against Australia, Shafali showcased her prowess, achieving her fifth T20I half-century. Her innings included six fours and three sixes, displaying authoritative strokes across the ground.

Mandhana, too, exhibited her batting prowess, notching her 27th overall fifty and seventh against Australia. Her innings, adorned with seven fours and a six, contributed significantly to India’s commanding performance.
The openers only parted ways when they were on the verge of securing victory, leaving an indelible mark with India’s second-best stand for the first wicket. The match concluded in 17.4 overs, marking India’s most biggest win over Australia in terms of wickets.
This victory also marked only the third instance of Australia losing a T20I by such a margin.
Putting their best fielding effort across all matches this home season, India not only showed remarkable improvement but remained clinical throughout to not allow Australia even a sniff.

Sadhu was not the only Indian to enjoy the high of an individual milestone – for she produced the second-best figures for any Indian bowler in T20Is against Australia after Jhulan Goswami‘s 5 for 11 over a decade ago.
Mandhana became only the second Indian batter after skipper Harmanpreet Kaur – and sixth overall in women’s T20Is – to have crossed the 3,000-run mark.
The victory at the start of this three-match rubber also sets up India Women perfectly to have a crack at a series win – something they have never done at home against Australia.
For that matter, India have only beaten Australia once in a bilateral T20I series, emerging a 2-1 winner on their 2015-16 tour.
Chasing a modest 142, India made quite an eccentric start, logging in 14 runs in the first over but none coming off the bat.
Australian seamer Darcie Brown peppered most of her deliveries down the leg, with two brushing Mandhana’s pads to run down the boundary ropes while one beating everyone on its way for four byes.
Shafali immaculately cracked a four through cover off Megan Schutt off the first ball she faced.
Mandhana too cashed in on a short ball from Annabel Sutherland to smack it over midwicket for the first six of the innings to get going.
Earlier, Sadhu’s four-for was complemented well by Deepti Sharma’s 2/24 and Shreyanka Patil 2/19 as India restricted Aussies to a below-par total.
While Sadhu rocked Australia with a three-wicket opening burst, Phoebe Litchfield (49) and Ellyse Perry (37) led the fightback for the visitors with a 79-run stand for the fifth wicket.
However, Australia, who lost wickets in clusters on either side of that stand, were bowled out in 19.2 overs.
Sadhu returned 3-0-8-3 in her first spell in the powerplay, accounting for Beth Mooney (17), Tahlia McGrath (0) and Ashleigh Gardner (0).
The 19-year-old right-arm pacer then returned for her final over — 18th of the innings — and found further success dismissing Annabel Sutherland (12) for her fourth scalp.
Having topped the batting chart in the ODIs, the left-handed Litchfield carried her form into the shortest format but fell short of a fifty. She smoked three sixes and four fours to make 49 from 32 balls.
Perry struck two fours and as many sixes to make 37 off 30 balls and was one of the two dismissals for Deepti, who showed great control.
The only blip for India, however, came in the 12th over when a mistimed reverse-sweep off Litchfield’s bat fell between Renuka Singh Thakur and Jemimah Rodrigues with both the fielders ending up looking at each other.
(With PTI Inputs)

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