A watershed for Indian cricket as both men and women beat Australia
| Friday, January 29, 2016 - 23:50
Melbourne: History was created on Friday with both the men's and women's cricket teams clinching series wins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Friday.
The Indian men dominated with both bat and ball to beat Australia by 27 runs in the second Twenty20 International and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series.
The Indian women on the other hand, registered their first series win in Australia in any format, thrashing the hosts by 10 wickets in the seond of the three-T20 series. They had beaten Australia by five wickets in the first match in Adelaide on January 26. The third T20 will be played in Sydney on January 31.
In the men's match, India rode on half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to post 184/3 in their 20 overs after being asked to bat first. In reply, the Australians could only manage 157/8 despite being given a superb start by Aaron Finch.
Rohit continued his superb form during the ongoing tour, scoring 60 runs off 47 balls with five boundaries and a six. He added 97 runs for the opening partnership along with Shikhar Dhawan (42).
Kohli walked in at the fall of Dhawan's wicket and proceeded to build on the solid foundation provided by the openers by belting 59 runs in his 33-ball innings which included seven boundaries and a six.
Chasing a challenging target, the hosts were off to a flying start with Finch going great guns. The Australian captain smashed 74 runs off 48 deliveries with eight boundaries and a couple of sixes. Shaun Marsh was going steady at the other end, scoring a run-a-ball 23.
The Australians were cruising comfortably along at 10 runs an over, but the fall of Marsh's wicket in the 10th triggered a collapse.
Chris Lynn (2) and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell (1) were sent back by Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh respectively as the Australians lost three wickets in as many overs which pegged back their momentum.
Finch and Shane Watson tried to re-build the innings, but Ravindra Jadeja sent back Watson in the 15th over with a stunning return catch off his own bowling.
Finch, who was struggling with a cramped hamstring, was run out in the next over as the Indians tightened their grip on the match.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/32) and young pacer Jasprit Bumrah (2/37) were the most successful among the Indian bowlers.
In the women's game, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami (2-16) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-27) starred with the ball as the Australians posted 125/8 from 18 overs in a rain-affected contest. Harmanpreet Kaur (1-2) and Poonam Yadav (1-17) also bagged a wicket each.
Australian captain Meg Lanning was the highest scorer with 49 while Jess Jonassen also batted well.
India made a fine start to their chase through openers Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana. The visitors were on 52/0 in the eighth over when rain arrived in the eighth over of the chase they were ahead of the D/L target on 0 for 52.
After the rain eventually stopped, only a further 2.1 overs could be played with India needing 14 runs according to the re-adjusted Duckworth/Lewis score. The Indians claimed victory with five balls to spare. Mithali remained unbeaten on 37 from 32 balls with six boundaries. Mandhana was not out on 22, with three boundaries studding her 24-ball knock.