Australia Women put up a strong team performance in the second One-Day International at Bellerive Oval in Hobart to beat India Women by six wickets on Friday (February 5) to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
A solid batting display in the second half of the game, led by Nicole Bolton and Meg Lanning, coupled with Ellyse Perry’s all-round contribution overshadowed Smriti Mandhana’s maiden ODI century that helped India post 252 for 8 in 50 overs first up.
Australia’s chase began with a strong opening stand of 138 off 135 deliveries between Bolton and Lanning. While Lanning hit 61 off 66 balls with eight boundaries, Bolton was even better, scoring a 74-ball 77 with ten boundaries, nullifying the threat of the Indian bowlers.
Shikha Pandey, the right-arm medium pacer, did manage to send both batsmen back in a space of two overs but, by then, it was already too late for India to stage a comeback.
Perry (31 in 35 balls) and Alex Blackwell (19 in 30 balls) added 44 in 58 deliveries for the third wicket to Australia within touching distance of victory before Rajeshwari Gaekwad, the left-arm spinner, dismissed them both, but those were only a consolation as Jess Jonassen and Alyssa Healy hit unbeaten 29s to take the home side ease past the target in the 47th over.
Earlier, having elected to bat, India got off to a poor start, losing MD Thirushkamini off the first ball of the match, caught by Grace Harris off Perry.
But Mandhana and Mithali Raj, the Indian captain, steadied the ship with a solid second-wicket partnership of 150 off 185 balls, before Perry returned to dismiss Raj, who had scored 58 off 98 deliveries – her 38th ODI half-century – with the help of five boundaries.
Harmanpreet Kaur then joined Mandhana and the two added another 34 runs, Harmanpreet scoring 21 of them, while Mandhana reached her century. She didn’t last too much longer, though, with Megan Schutt, the right-arm medium pacer, removing her after 102 from 109 balls, studded with 11 boundaries.
It was then up to the lower order to make sure India did not lose advantage of the platform provided early on, and Pandey played her role well, scoring an unbeaten 33 from 30 balls with three fours and a six. But a regular fall of wickets in the last ten overs meant India fell short of the target they would have liked to set for the hosts.
Perry, with figures of 3 for 54, was the best bowler for Australia, and she was ably supported by Schutt, who ended with 2 for 35.
The final ODI will be played in Hobart on Sunday.