Indian women make history, win maiden series against Australia

For the record, it is the third time in 11 T20 matches that Indian women have beaten Australia.

Indian players celebrate after winning the women's Twenty20 International in Melbourne.   -  Getty Images

The Indian women's cricket team scripted history today by winning its maiden Twenty20 series against three-time world champion Australia with a comprehensive 10-wicket triumph in the rain-truncated second game here. With this victory, India took a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series that will wind up in Sydney on January 31.

Opting to bowl after winning the toss, the Indians had their more fancied rivals on the mat in overcast conditions. India restricted Australia to 125 in the match that was reduced to 18-overs-a-side following rain interruption. In reply, Indians came out with guns blazing and were cruising along nicely before another spell of showers forced a revision of target to 66 in 10 overs. Skipper Mithali Raj (37 not out) struck the winning runs as India overhauled the target in 9.1 overs.

In a thoroughly dominating performance from start to finish, India cornered Australia early on by reducing them to 33 for three in only the fifth over of the match. It took a 70-run fourth-wicket stand between Australian skipper Meg Lanning (49) and Jess Jonassen (27) to steady the rocking boat. Lanning's innings was crucial in propelling Australia to 103 for three in the 14th over before disaster struck yet again.

Once Lanning was run out by Harmanpreet Kaur, the wickets tumbled in a heap. To their credit, the Indian bowlers, especially the senior pace bowler and player of the match Jhulan Goswami (2-16) and leg-spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-27), ensured that the hosts' remained shackled.

The Indian batters seemed to be in a hurry to wrap up the proceedings and raced to 52 for no loss in 7.5 overs before the heavens opened yet again. Another round of recalculation followed and the target stood revised at 66 from 10 overs.

On resumption, Raj, who smacked half a dozen fours in her 32-ball knock, and Smriti Mandhana (22 not out) took no time in sealing the match to give the team a historic triumph. The Australians also made the visitors' job a tad easy by conceding 10 extras in the match.

For the record, it is the third time in 11 T20 matches that Indian women have beaten Australia.

Brief scores:

Australia 125 for eight in 18 overs (Meg Lanning 49; Jhulan Goswami 2 for 16) lost to India 69 for none in 9.1 overs (Mithali Raj 37 not out) by D/L Method.

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