Australian women cricket team won the first ODI of three-match series against India by eight wickets at Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, on Monday.
Opting to bat first, India’s opening batting order collapsed and Pooja Vastrakar scored the maiden half-century of her ODI career, thus becoming the first Indian woman player to hit a fifty at number nine.
After winning the toss, stand-in skipper Harmanpreet Kaur opted to bat and the decision backfired as Indian team lost half of their batters even before reaching the 100-run mark.
However, India’s lower batting order stabilised the innings, but that was too late. Bowler Pooja Vastrakar, along with wicket-keeper batswoman Sushma Verma, put a 76-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
Vastrakar scored the maiden half-century of her ODI career and in her 51-run knock, she hit one six and seven boundaries.
Other than Vastrakar, Sushma Verma (41) and Punam Raut (37) were the only Indian batters who were able to tackle the Australian bowling attack.
Australian bowlers Jess Jonassen (4) and Amanda Wellington (3) shattered the ‘strong’ Indian batting line up and the duo shared seven wickets between them. Meanwhile, Megan Schutt and Ashleigh Gardner took one wicket each.
Following the mediocre target of 200 runs, Aussie team chased it down with ease in 32 overs and eight wickets to spare.
After the win, Aussie skipper Meg Lanning said, “It’s a great start to the series. Happy to be back on the field. We pulled it back pretty well and to keep them down to 200 on that wicket was a very good effort. We wanted to be aggressive with the bat and Nicole Bolton led the way for us. Our consistency with the ball and on the field is probably something we can improve.”
After losing the match, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said, “It was a hard day for us. We didn’t play good cricket and didn’t deserve to win. She (Mithali Raj) is an important player for us. But happy that the lower middle-order batted well. We didn’t have enough on the board and then we didn’t bowl according to the field. She (Pooja Vastrakar) played very well in South Africa and showed her character today as well. We are expecting more good performances from her. We need to improve our batting and the bowlers need to contribute better.”
Australian team have taken the 1-0 lead in the series.