Harmanpreet Kaur stars as India beat Australia in first women's T20I
The Indian women’s team beat the Australian women’s team by 5 wickets in the first T20I of the series at Adelaide on Tuesday. Harmanpreet Kaur was the star of the show for the visitors as she scored 46 runs from just 31 balls and deservedly won the Player of the Match award.
Earlier in the day, Indian captain Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to bowl first. Australia opened their innings with Beth Mooney and Grace Harris, but suffered an early setback after Harris got out without opening her account. Then Mooney steadied the ship with a patient run-a-ball innings of 36.
The Australian innings was mainly built around Mooney while she found support in the form of captain Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry but both of them failed to make a big score.
The real star of Australia’s batting was their wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, her knock of 41 from just 15 deliveries was magnificent to watch as she hit five fours and two sixes. Healy was well supported by Alex Blackwell, who ended the innings unbeaten on 27.
The hosts put up a respectable total of 140 for the loss of 5 wickets in their scheduled 20 overs. The pick of the Indian bowlers was Poonam Yadav, who picked up two crucial wickets. Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Anuja Patil chipped in with a wicket each.
In reply, India endured an early blow as they lost their star batter Mithali Raj in just the second over. Opener Smriti Mandhana then formed a 55-run partnership with Veda Krishnamurthy and India looked to be in control of the match.
Mandhana was out on 29 and Krishnamurthy followed her back to the pavilion in quick time after a superb innings knock of 35. But it was Harmanpreet who stole the show with a valiant innings of 46 in just 31 balls which took the visitors to a well-deserved victory down under.
Among the Australian bowlers, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen picked up two wickets apiece. Rene Farrell also chipped in with a wicket.
This was the Indian women's team’s highest ever run-chase in a T20I, bettering the 127 they had chased down against New Zealand last year.
India lead the 3-match T20I series 1-0 with the 2nd match scheduled for Friday at Melbourne.
Australia 140/5 from 20 overs (Healy 41, Mooney 36: Yadav 2/26, Patil 1/16)
India 141/5 from 18.4 overs (Kaur 46, Krishnamurthy 35; Schutt 2/23, Jonassen 2/24)