Sutherland helps Australia win series despite Ghosh's valiant knock

Richa Ghosh's 96 and Deepti Sharma's five-wicket haul went in vain as Annabel Sutherland's late strikes helped Australia to a thrilling win

Shajin Mohanan S
New Update

Australia celebrate series win © Getty Images

Australia snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and it was so near yet so far for India once again as the visitors won the ODI series with three-run win in the second ODI at the Wankhede Stadium on December 30 (Saturday).

Annabel Sutherland led the bowling effort at the backend of the innings to turn around the game when India needed only 41 runs from 36 balls with six wickets in hand. She first dismissed a set Richa Ghosh as the young batter's valiant knock came to an end just four runs short of a century. From there on, India struggled to get the final push with none of the batters in the lower order managing to find boundaries at regular intervals.

Batting at six, Deepti Sharma struggled the most as Australian bowlers restricted her leg-side scoring shots and the southpaw couldn't go through the in-field on the off-side. Eventually it came down to 16 off the last over and by the time debutant Shreyanka Patil hit the last ball for four, India were out of the game. 

Earlier, Australia's innings was set up by contrasting fifties from Phoebe Litchfield and Ellyse Perry before Alana King gave the finishing touches. In between all that, Deepti led India's spin attack to become the first Asian to pick up a five-wicket haul against Australia. 

Chasing 259 to level the series, India got off to a reasonable start with the openers scoring 37 in the first seven overs. But Kim Garth provided Australia with the breakthrough as she dismissed Yastika Bhatia for 14. Ghosh was put down in the first ball, but Smriti Mandhana, who missed the first game due to illness, was looking good until she was caught at long-on for 34 off 38 balls.

That brought Jemimah Rodrigues to the crease and that produced the most effective partnership for India with the duo adding 88 runs. Although Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur fell in quick successsion, Ghosh kept going for shots despite her body starting cramp up. And at one stage, it looked like the 20-year-old would take India a famous win. But Sutherland had other ideas. 

Opting to bat first, Australia had an eventful start with India missing a lot of chances on the field. Litchfield was dropped three times and Alyssa Healy had a reprieve with India not going up for the DRS review when the Australian captain was adjuged not out on an LBW appeal.

However, Pooja Vastrakar struck for India with the wicket of Healy and three off spinners - including the debutant Shreyanka Patil - tried to control the proceedings even as Perry got off to a great start. Once the talismanic allrounder became Deepti's first victim, Australia struggled in the middle overs and went from 117 for 1 to 180 for 6 even with Litchfield's knock of 63.

Even though India's fielding display didn't improve through the day, they created enough chances to leave Australia at 218 for 8 and Deepti got her five-for with the wicket of Annabel Sutherland. When it looked like India would be able to restrict the visitors under 240, King came in and scored a quickfire 28 off just 17 balls. Eventually, that proved to be the difference as India fell short once again.

Brief Scores: Australia 258/8 in 50 overs (Phoebe Litchfield 63, Ellyse Perry 50; Deepti Sharma 5/38) beat India 255/8 in 50 overs (Richa Ghosh 96, Jemimah Rodrigues 44; Annabel Sutherland 3/47) by three runs POTM: Annabel Sutherland