Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - India impressive with the ball but result unlikely in Gold Coast. Goswami got the wickets of Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy.
Goswami got the wickets of Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy.
Jhulan Goswami and Pooja Vastrakar's double strikes on either side of Tea pushed Australia on the backfoot but a slow moving Day 3 in Gold Coast has all but ruled out the possibility of a result in the standalone pink-ball Test of the multi-format series. With just 108 overs left in the match, Australia are still 84 out from the follow-on target of 228 with Ellyse Perry expertly manoeuvring the hosts to 143/4 at Stumps after India declared their innings on 377/8.
A wicket at either end of the post-Dinner session – both Australian openers beautifully set up – was how Goswami made her pink-ball debut. In between the two dismissals was Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy stitching a 49-run partnership as they endured a mean opening burst from India's new pace troika that got the ball to swing both ways and consistently asked questions of the Australian top-order. Lanning, in particular, lucked out thrice with edges twice dropped and once dropping short, before ultimately being handed a rough one.
Drawing an inside edge off a nip backer onto Beth Mooney's pads, Goswami bowled the next one full and shaping back into the left-hander. The opener went for an ill-advised swipe across the line, got an inside edge and lost her leg-stump as India got a breakthrough in just the seventh over of Australia's innings. Back into the attack in the penultimate over before Tea, Goswami then set up Healy by unsettling her with short balls, the last of which hit her on the arm, before drawing a faint outside edge off an outswinger for Taniya Bhatia to catch behind the stumps.
The hosts suffered another blow in quick succession, albeit an unjustified one, on the other side of the break with Lanning adjudged LBW on 38, and only the replays throwing light on the reason behind her disappointment – a healthy inside edge onto the kneeroll – as she trudged off.
Perry and Tahlia McGrath pushed Australia into triple figures but spent the better part of their 17-over alliance trying to find runs as India bowled with immense discipline and accuracy. Most of their crisp shots were intercepted and cut down to dots as India bowled superbly to their fields to dry the flow of runs. The mounting pressure got the better of McGrath finally, about half an hour before close of play, when she looked to cash in on a rare loose delivery from Vastrakar and cut it straight to Smriti Mandhana at point. Barring a run-out scare, Ash Gardner and Perry saw off the remaining 10 overs patiently to deny India further inroads.
For India, the first signs of any acceleration came post Dinner, albeit the declaration followed almost immediately after the first resultant casualty. The visitors only consumed about 15 minutes, declaring soon after half-centurion Deepti Sharma was erroneously adjudged LBW. The delayed declaration was perhaps to avoid tiring out their bowlers in the middle. She had resumed in the second session with back to back boundaries off Stella Campbell – the first an overcooked freebie smashed down the ground and next a top-edge off a pull that luckily flew over the keeper. One dot ball later, the umpire handed Australians the lbw appeal while replays confirmed the impact was well outside leg – the lack of DRS in the series once again coming back to haunt India. On debut, Meghna Singh also got a chance to open her account in Test cricket, but Mithali Raj waived them back in an over's time.
This was in sharp contrast to the 40-over first session where India batted at a shade above 2 RPO and with seemingly negligible intent to force a result in the game where time was running out. Taniya's picture perfect cover drives and Deepti's authoritative slog-sweeps were only an illusion as India added only 83 to their overnight 276/5 in a sluggish session.
It was a statistically important one though. Like for Campbell, who opened her account in Test cricket off just her second delivery of the afternoon, getting Taniya to poke at a length ball in the channel outside off and nipping away. This wicket, though, could have really been Perry's – when the India wicketkeeper had not even opened her account – if not for the missing LBW appeal off the third ball of the day's play.
Then, it was an important day for Deepti, who laid the foundation of this consolidation act with a 148-ball fifty, only her second in Tests and second in as many Tests. Perry's achievement overshadowed all others perhaps as she became the first woman cricketer to claim the double of 5000 runs and 300 wickets in international cricket when Mooney pulled off another sharp one at gully to send Vastrakar back on 13, signalling Dinner.
Brief scores: Australia 143/4 (Meg Lanning 38, Ellyse Perry 27*; Jhulan Goswami 2-27) trail India 377/8 decl. (Smriti Mandhana 127, Deepti Sharma 66; Sophie Molineux 2-45, Stella Campbell 2-47) by 234 runs