The Indian women’s cricket team had another fantastic day at the office as they ended the second day of the one-off Test against Australia at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium with a 157-run lead. Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh and Deepti Sharma all smashed fifties with the latter unbeaten on 70 as the hosts ended Day 2 at 376/7 to bat the opposition out of the game on the third day on Saturday, December 23.
The day started with Smriti Mandhana getting to her half-century after being unbeaten on 43 overnight. The duo of Mandhana and Rana took the team’s score forward and stitched a 50-run stand but both got out in quick succession. However, what followed was a classical Test match batting display from Jemimah Rodrigues and debutant Richa Ghosh. Both respected the good balls and good periods of play from Australian bowlers and latched on to the loose ones on a track that was wearing off and staying low. Jemimah brought up her second consecutive fifty while Richa scored her maiden as India overhauled Australia’s first innings total of 219.
Jemimah was looking very good on her way to probably a first century but India too underwent a collapse after the duo had stitched a 113-run stand. From 260/3, the hosts were reduced to 274/7 losing four wickets in quick succession including both the set batters. India knew that they couldn’t give a team like Australia a sniff as they would bounce back.
What followed was another fighting partnership between Deepti Sharma and India’s hero with the ball, Pooja Vastrakar. Both took their own sweet time while keeping the scorecard ticking as Deepti scored her fourth Test fifty while Vastrakar played a perfect ally. Deepti and Pooja have now stitched an unbeaten 102-run partnership and will be looking to get India to a lead of 200 runs and more.
For Australia, Ash Gardener was the most successful bowler as she took 4/100 while Kim Garth chipped in with a wicket on Friday. Australia will hope that they don’t let India extend their lead and the look to bat time as currently the hosts are all over the game.
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