After a lackluster bowling performance in the inaugural T20I against Australia, Indian bowlers once again failed to make an impact as Beth Mooney (82 steps out of 54) and Tahlia McGrath (70 from 51) played some superb runs to power the visitors 187/1 at DY Patil Stadium on Sunday.
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India embarked on its massive quest for 188 with Smriti Mandhana leading the chase forward with a searing 79. Richa Gosh also came with a late cameo of 26 steps on 13 balls.
India needed 14 on the last over thrown by Megan Schutt and Devika Vaidya managed to find two fours to reach 187 for 5 and tie the game, forcing the game into the Super Over.
India then set a target of 21 in the Super Over which the Australians failed to achieve as the hosts tied the 5-game series 1-1.
The home side made it 20 runs in the Super Over played by Heather Graham, courtesy of a six and a four from Mandhana after Richa Ghosh smashed the first ball for a max.
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Renuka Thakur was able to defend that total under extreme pressure after getting rid of Alyssa Healyhanding Australia their first defeat of the year.
The thrilling finish meant the Indian women finally found themselves on the safe side of the outcome in a tense finale. It was also the first time that India featured in a game that extended to the super over.
Earlier in the chase, Mandhana shifted gears after Shafali fell to take extra cover from leg spinner Alana King.
Mandhana then shared a 61 point stand with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur who struggled for 22 ball 21s.
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Mandhana’s offside game was a treat to watch as usual, but she got the bulk of the points on the midwicket area.
She sent a full throw from King to a deep middle wicket for a max before sweeping her for a four to bring her a half century. His sublime shot brought the equation down to 55 points over the last 30 balls.
After hitting a straight flat six past Sutherland in the 17th, Mandhana fell on an avoidable shot. As she executed her shots perfectly in front of the wicket, she crossed the stumps for a paddle stroke and ended up disturbing her stumps.
Richa Ghosh came on and hit a barrage of six, three to be precise, to stun the opposition and boiled the equation down to a very accessible 18 on 12 balls.
After asking Australia to bat considering the dew factor, the Indian bowlers were unable to put any pressure on the raging visitors.
McGrath and fly-half Mooney shared an entertaining 158 run from 99 balls for their second successive stand over 100. The partnership was the highest ever for Australia for any T20 wickets.
Like the series opener, the hosts were only able to take one wicket in the innings.
Alyssa Healy (25 of 15) was the lone hitter to be dismissed when she was caught at backspot by spinner Deepti Sharma.
With the exception of Deepti, all of the other bowlers were taken to cleaners by McGrath and Mooney.
Southpaw Mooney had 13 fours while McGrath broke 10 fours and a six. While Mooney was more conventional in his shots, McGrath used the long shaft well.
They marked boundaries at will, giving the Indian attack a toothless appearance.
Australian skipper Healy also looked menacing before going out against the run of play.
Australia won the first T20I by nine wickets on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)