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India hold nerves in Super Over thriller to level series




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India Women registered a thrilling super-over win against Australia Women in the second T20I match on Sunday (December 11) to level the five-match series 1-1. Star opener Beth Mooney continued her red-hot form, smashing 82* off 54 balls to help Australia score a big 187/1 total while batting first. But the top-ranked Indian batter Smriti Mandhan smashed 79 runs off 49 balls to help India get close to the target. She later impressed again in the Super Over by smashing 13 runs as India defended 20 runs in six balls.

After failing to defend the 173-run target in the first match, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur decided to bowl first in the second match at Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. But once again, Australian openers started with an attacking approach with captain Alyssa Healy smashing 25 runs off just 15 balls before getting out to Deepti Sharma.

But that proved the only success for the Indian bowlers today as Mooney and Tahlia McGrath pulled off another defining partnership for the second wicket. Mooney, the world no.1 batter in T20I cricket, continued her rich vein of form and smashed unbeaten 82 runs off just 54 balls while McGrath scored 70* off 51 balls.

Indian openers started fantastically in their chase with a crucial 76-run partnership as youngster Shafali Verma smashed 34 off 23 balls before getting out to Alana King in the ninth over. Debutant all-rounder Heather Graham then dismissed Jemimah Rodrigues for four in the next over to keep Australia ahead in the game.

But Mandhana continued to shower big boundaries from the other end and put in another crucial 61-run partnership for the third wicket with Harmanpreet. Graham removed the Indian captain Kaur in the 16th over to bring her team back into the game. But it was Annabel Sutherland who bowled Smriti in the next over to completely turn the game in Australia’s favor. Smriti scored 79 off 49 with the help of nine fours and four sixes.

Young Indian wicketkeeper batter Richa Ghosh pulled off another cameo knock to drag the game for a last-over thriller. Needing 14 runs in the last over, Devika Vaidya smashed four on the last ball of the innings to tie the score, the first ever T20I tie for India Women.

After taking three wickets on debut, Graham bowled the Super Over for Australia. Smriti smashed 13 runs as India scored 20 runs. For India, star pacer Renuka Singh bowled the Super Over and dismissed Ashleigh Gardner on the third delivery to restrict Australia to 16 runs.

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