The game had it all, with India thinking they won it off the last ball, only for it to be ruled a no-ball
Australia Women 275 for 5 (Mooney 125*, McGrath 74, Carey 39*) beat India Women 274 for 7 (Mandhana 86, Ghosh 44, Goswami 28*; McGrath 3-45, Molineux 2-28) by five wickets
Ironically enough, in a final over that began with Australia needing 13, practically every ball hit to a fielder was fumbled except for the catch off the no-ball. Another mistake off the final ball meant Mooney and Carey could sprint the two runs needed to complete a heist that might well rank alongside the great bank robberies.
In the end though, Mooney – and Australia – remained unconquered.
Things looked very different at the start of Australia’s chase. Mandhana’s elegance had been complemented by several useful nuggets from her team-mates to drive India to 274 for 7. In reply, Australia lost Alyssa Healy for a duck in the first over and Meg Lanning soon after.
Their depth would be tested to the utmost when they slid to 52 for 4 in 16 overs, when McGrath joined Mooney. In her six previous ODIs and lone Test, McGrath had never batted as high as No. 6, nor had she hit a half-century. But then, she hadn’t taken more than two wickets in an innings either before today, and had just returned 3 for 45 in the first innings. McGrath powered her way to 74 off 77, dragging Australia’s chase back on track.
Mooney played second fiddle in their partnership of 126, and then took charge once McGrath pulled a Deepti Sharma half-tracker straight to short fine leg. On 74 off 100 then, Mooney would go on to loot 51 from her next 33 balls. Carey played a gem of her own, unbeaten on 39 off 38 with urgency in running between the wickets that consistently put India’s fielders under pressure.
Australia continued to chip away at a total that seemed just out of reach, until it came down to the final over, with India turning to Goswami to finish the job. That she ended up delivering two no-balls for height, one of which hit Carey right in the grille, showed how tense the finish was for even the most experienced.
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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