India A took a 2-0 lead against Australia A with a commanding 28-run victory at Bandra Kurla Complex Ground, Mumbai.
A blitzy 105* from veteran Mithali Raj and quickfire 57 from Harmanpreet Kaur were the main features of a solid batting display as India A made 184 for 5. India A couldn’t produce a great start as the in-form opener Smriti Mandhana lost her wicket in the 3rd over for 1. Australia A had the hold on the game when the middle order started trembling and couldn’t contribute much as Raj stood strong at the other end.
India were reduced to 66/4 within 9 overs when captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined Raj at the crease. Both ensured the innings didn’t lose its way. Kaur went to her fifty off 24 balls before getting dismissed for 57. They both added 81 runs for the fifth wicket.
Mithali Raj anchored the innings till the end, batted with authority and smashed an unbeaten century off 59 balls. Her 105* featured 18 fours and a six. She became the first Indian with 2 T20 centuries while the first one was for Railways against Hyderabad (100). Also, this is her highest T20 score.
Tahlia McGrath bagged 2 wickets while Lauren Cheatle, Molly Strano and Maitlan Brown scalped 1 each for Australia A.
Australia A made a promising start to the chase. Openers Josephine Dooley and Tahlia McGrath added 59 in 7 overs; which gave them a hope of successful chase before Anuja Patil provided the first breakthrough. Soon the other opener too got dismissed. Naomi Stalenberg and Heather Graham tried to resurrect the innings but lack of support from other batters ended their innings within 156 runs at the end of the allotted overs. Tahlia McGrath top-scored with 47 off 29.
Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil and Poonam Yadav bagged 2 wickets each; while Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur picked up one each for India A. Both the teams will play their last T20 on October 26.