Molly Strano in action for Australia. ©Cricket Australia
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Preeti Bose’s unbeaten 62 and 3/42 went in vain as Tahlia McGrath’s half-century and captain Molly Strano’s all-round performance guide Australia A to register their first victory over India A by 91 runs in the first of the three-match One-Day series.

Having chosen to bat, Australia A lost their opener Chloe Piparo for 26. Georgia Redmayne and Tahlia McGrath started to build up a partnership and added 29 runs before the former got out to a throw from Gayakwad.

It was McGrath, who built a steady 73-run partnership with Heather Graham for the fourth wicket. McGrath scored 58 off 66 with 10 fours and a six before getting dismissed by a quick glovework of Verma from Gayakwad’s delivery. Graham missed the half-century by mere 2 runs and got out after scoring a 70-ball 48.

Naomi Stalenberg’s 47 off 49 and captain Molly Strano’s quickfire 37* off 27 helped Australia A to put up a huge total of 271 on board. Preeti Bose scalped 3 wickets while Reemalaxmi Ekka bagged 2; Gayakwad and Dibyadarshini picked up 1 wicket each for India A.

Chasing 272, India A didn’t get a good start as they lost their opener Priya Punia and Devika Vaidya in the very first over. Captain Punam Raut soon joined them in the dugout as she fell for a duck. Pressure fell upon the middle order batters to resurrect the innings. But they too couldn’t stay long at the crease.

Soon, India A were reduced to 55/6 in the 20.1 overs. Then Shikha Pandey and Preeti Bose came to their side’s rescue. Pandey scored 54-ball 42 with 7 fours and Bose scored 62* off 80 with 6 fours. Gayakwad played a steady 17 off 33 and gave good support to Bose. But their efforts were not enough to win the match as they were bowled out for 180.

Strano scalped 3 wickets while Johnson, Cheatle and Brown bagged 2 wickets each; Bates took 1 wicket for Australia A and they won the match convincingly by 91 runs. Both the teams will play their next match on October 17 at the same ground.