Recent Match Report – IND Women vs AUS Women Only Test 2021/22


Ellyse Perry claimed her 300th international wicket but Australia continued to be frustrated

Dinner India 359 for 7 (Deepti 58*) vs Australia

The lights had just begun taking effect when half-centurion Deepti Sharma stepped on the gas with a powerfully cover-driven four in a seven-run over off Sophie Molineux in what largely was a sluggish opening session for India on day three of the pink-ball Test. Australia picked up only two wickets before dinner, the second of those Ellyse Perry‘s 300th international strike, but two dropped chances meant India could accumulate 83 runs to take their tally to 359 for 7, the highest by any visiting side against them in the format.

Signs of urgency, or the intent to force a result in the four-day game, despite holding the scoreboard edge were few and far between in India’s approach early in the 40.4 overs bowled out of the day’s allotment of 108 overs. Sharma, who made a 163-ball 58*, put on 45 with Taniya Bhatia, building on India’s overnight 276 for 5. But a scoring rate of under one for vast stretches of the innings saw them record a run rate of just 2.05 so far on the day, the lowest across the three days.

Before Perry removed Pooja Vastrakar for 13 at the stroke of the dinner break, becoming the first woman with the double of 5000 runs and 300 wickets in international cricket, Stella Campbell offered the reverie-snapping breakthough, with her second ball of the day. The tall debutant’s nagging fourth-stump line, helped by healthy bounce and carry off the drop-in surface, forced Taniya to prod at the outswinger only for wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy to gobble up it up to give the 19-year old her maiden Test wicket.

Sharma had got off the blocks off the very first ball she faced on the day, tucking Tahlia McGrath fine for a single. Thereafter, offspinner Ashleigh Gardner, who remained the most economical bowler in Australia’s eight-pronged attack, held one end up for a 12-over stretch, with Perry finding swing early to set up a battle with the right-left batting tandem.

Having picked up her first wicket of the series in the second session of the truncated day two, Perry almost had a second – and fifth if all dropped chances across three days are to be considered – with her third ball of the day. An inswinger, Perry’s yorker struck right-hander Bhatia on toe on the off-and-middle line but there was hardly an appeal for lbw. From that lifeline on duck, Bhatia, playing her first match since the ODI series against England in June, unfurled an array of cover drives and cuts to before perishing to Campbell for a 40-ball 19.

Sharma then added 40 with the No. 7 Vastrakar, playing mostly risk-free against spinners and pacers, riding on five scares since day two, closes shaves past first-slip Lanning either side of drinks included. The closest of them of was when, on 24, she nearly chopped on, and her attempt to brush the ball, rolling millimeteres away from the off stump, almost put her in further jeopardy. The standout shot among her bouquet of muscular slog-sweeps came off Gardner, into the cowcorner to take India past 300. A single off her 148th ball in the innings took her to her second straight Test fifty, the previous having anchored a rescue act against England in Bristol.

With the day’s forecast remaining rain-free, Sharma would eye a brisk extension of her innings after dinner.

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha

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