Here’s how 4 Days during Day-Night Pink Ball Test between India and Australia unfolded

The historic pink ball test, just the second of Women’s cricket, first for India and a test between India and Australia women after 15 years ended in a draw as rain god got the better of the first two of the four days making the match lose around 100 overs.

 

India Women vs Australia Women - Day Night Test
India Women vs Australia Women – Day Night Test. PC: cricket.com.au

Day 1 – Pink Ball test between India and Australia

Played at the Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast, Queensland from 30th September, the match saw some fabulous performances by both the teams. India was put in to bat by Australia who chose to field first. The women in blue got to a great start with both the openers, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana finding boundaries in the first session of the play itself. However, the play was interrupted due to rain just after the first session and we hardly saw overs after that. After a major part of the day being washed away, India ended it with one wicket down and Smriti playing on unbeaten 80. It was obviously the most stressful night for Smriti who would have completed her century if it hadn’t rained.

Day 2 – Pink Ball test between India and Australia

Being the favourites on the first day, India started well on the second day as well with Smriti getting a lifeline after the ball she was caught on turned out to be a No-ball. From there on this star player didn’t stop and went on to become the first Indian woman to score a century in the Pink Ball Test, indeed a very special moment. Her great inning ended on 127 when she was caught by McGrath off a ball by Gardner. Sadly, once again lightning and heavy rain took over the day forcing early stumps with India batting on 276 with 5 down.

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Day 3 – Pink Ball test between India and Australia

Fortunately, the third and the fourth day saw a full game of cricket but that wasn’t enough to get a one-sided result. On the third day, all-rounder Deepti Sharma contributed a crucial 66, and India declared their exceptional innings at 377 for 8. For Australia, Ellyse Perry, Stella Campbell, and Sophie Molineux got two wickets each to their name while Ashleigh Gardner got one. Australia got to a struggling start finishing day three with 143 runs losing 4 key wickets – openers Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy followed by their captain Meg Lanning and then Tahlia McGrath. The wickets were shared between India’s legend Jhulan Goswami and Pooja Vastrakar.

Day 4 – Pink Ball test between India and Australia

The last day of the match saw two declarations coming in as the rain spoiled match was still to see a second innings being played by both the teams. The day did start with both Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner completing their half-century, but it was all India after the second new ball with Perry trying to keep the scoreboard moving but not getting the support from the other end. With 8 wickets down in quick succession, Australia somehow managed to avoid the follow-on and declared at 241 for 9 with still a trail of 136. Pooja Vastrakar led the bowling attack with 3 wickets followed by Jhulan Goswami, young debutant Meghna Singh, and all-rounder Deepti Sharma with two each. It was interesting to look at how both teams go from here with just 71 overs remaining. Once again, the Indian Openers, Shafali and Smriti started off very well. Shafali’s 52 and Punam Raut’s 41 not out helped India make 135 for 3 and declare with a lead of 271. The three wickets were shared between Sophie Molineux, Ashleigh Gardner, and Georgia Wareham. India posted a target of 272 in 32 overs for Australia and managed to take 2 wickets giving away 36 in the first 10 overs. The wickets were once again shared between Goswami and Vastrakar. However, during the drinks break, Australia’s captain offered a draw to the Indian captain Mithali Raj which she accepted, and both the teams shared 2 points in the end taking this point system-based series to Australia at 6 and India at 4.

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Player of the Match – Smriti Mandhana

For her exceptional performance, India’s Smriti Mandhana was adjudged as the player of the match. After ending without a one-sided result, the match saw criticism on a couple of grounds by players and fans. The first being the series being played without Decision Review System (DRS) created controversies over the decisions taken by the umpires. Then, there was an increase in demand for a five-day test instead of 4 days for women just like we have for men.

Some great players shared their opinion on how a result was very much possible had it been a five-day game. Hope the cricketing board would consider this appeal and make the Women’s test a five-day competition and would also bring in DRS for a fair decision during the matches.

The all-format series between Women’s cricket rivals India and Australia have brought a lot of excitement and thriller to watch for and we expect the same during the last three matches of the tour, the T20Is starting from Thursday, 7th October.

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