Half-centuries from Nicole Bolton, Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney helped Australia Women register a 60-run victory against India Women in the second One-Day International at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Thursday (March 15).
Australia thus clinched the three-match series 2-0.
Bolton, the opener who hit a century in the first match, set the tone for Australia after they were asked to bat with a breezy 84. Despite a mini-collapse, Australia recovered well, thanks to a 96-run fifth-wicket stand between Mooney (56) and Perry (70 not out) to post 287 for 9.
Chasing what would have been their highest-ever total against Australia in ODIs, India were all out for 227 in 49.2 overs after Jess Jonassen and Amanda- Jade Wellington, the spin duo, ran through the batting order, sharing five wickets between them.
India’s chase got off to a sedate start with Punam Raut unable the find the gaps on the offside. Smriti Mandhana, however, made up for it with a brisk 53-ball 67 before holing out to Megan Schutt off Jonassen’s left-arm spin.
Mandhana did the bulk of the scoring in the 88-run stand for the opening wicket while Raut, after a laborious 27 off 61 balls, fell to Ashleigh Gardner, the offspinner.
Mithali Raj (15) unleashed a flurry of boundaries in a bid to catch up with the required rate, but was undone by a short delivery from Perry, which she nicked to Alyssa Healy behind the stumps.
With the scoreboard reading 123 for 3 at the halfway mark, Deepti Sharma and Harmanpreet Kaur tried to rebuild the innings, but Wellington, the legspinner, threw a spanner in the works by getting rid of Kaur (17). Veda Krishnamurthy too fell cheaply with the 21-year old Wellington having her stumped by Healy.
Jonassen then got into the act, getting rid of Deepti Sharma (26 off 45) and Sushma Verma as India slipped further to 170 for 7.
While Pooja Vastrakar (30) and Shikha Pandey (15) hung in there, they could only delay the inevitable before falling to Schutt and Nicola Carey respectively.
Earlier, Australia Women made a brisk start after Bolton, who continued her rich vein of form, and Healy (19) put on 54 for the opening wicket before the latter was caught by Krishnamurthy at long-on off Poonam Yadav, the legspinner. The breakthrough didn’t deter Bolton as she went on to add 76 runs for the second wicket with Meg Lanning (24).
The left-hand batter continued from where she had left off in the first ODI, but missed out on an opportunity to craft another ton after being castled by Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner. Her knock was studded with 12 hits to the fence.
With Bolton and Rachel Haynes falling in a space of nine balls, India had a chance to capitalise, but Perry and Mooney ensured that Australia wouldn’t waste their solid platform.
Mooney’s quickfire 40-ball 56 meant the duo ensured Australia seized back control. Mooney struck nine fours before being caught and bowled by Pandey, the medium pacer.
Perry was content to play second fiddle to Mooney, and went on to notch her 25th ODI fifty. She remained unbeaten with a run-a-ball 70 that contained six fours and two sixes.
Australia looked set to reach 300, but Pandey struck for the third time to send Carey back while Raj ran out Jonassen cheaply. Pandey ended with 3 for 61 and Yadav finished with 2 for 52. Kaur and Bisht picked up a wicket each.
Both sides will meet at the same venue for the third ODI on Sunday (March 18).
Brief scores: Australia Women 287 for 9 in 50 overs (Nicole Bolton 84, Ellyse Perry 70 n.o, Beth Mooney 56; Shikha Pandey 3-61, Poonam Yadav 2-52) won against India Women 227 all out in 49.2 overs (Punam Raut 27, Smriti Mandhana 67, Pooja Vastrakar 30; Ellyse Perry 2-41, Jess Jonassen 3-51, Amanda-Jade Wellington 2-20) by 60 runs