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Titas Sadhu made a sensational debut as India dominated Australia in the first Twenty20 match.
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Titas Sadhu made a sensational debut as India dominated Australia in the first Twenty20 match.

India dominated Australia, winning by nine wickets in the initial women’s Twenty20 match in Navi Mumbai. This victory gave India a 1-0 advantage in the three-game series and also introduced a rising star player.

Titas Sadhu, a teenage newcomer, took four wickets for only 17 runs and contributed to Australia’s downfall, as they were all out for 141. Shafali Verma (64 not out) and Smriti Mandhana (54) then successfully led a precise chase at the DY Patil Stadium. This dominant performance by India was a stark contrast to their previous one-day series defeat of 3-0, as they secured victory over Australia with 14 balls to spare.

“We did not perform up to our standards tonight,” stated Alyssa Healy, the captain of Australia. “We could have done better with our batting and our bowling didn’t have a strong start either. There is plenty to improve upon for the upcoming two games.”

Verma was given a second chance on two occasions, with Ash Gardner dropping an easy catch when she was at 51 and making a difficult catch at 61. However, Verma and Mandhana were dominant in their partnership, scoring 137 runs for the first wicket. This is the highest partnership against Australia by any team and the second-highest by any Indian pair. Verma played aggressively and confidently from the beginning while Mandhana took 12 balls to score her first run before finding her rhythm.

India got a significant advantage at the start of their response when Darcie Brown, who was not accurate, gave away 14 runs in the first over, all of which were extras.

Australia’s performance remained subpar as Tahlia McGrath gave away 24 runs in her second over, which also had seven wides. The team’s only highlight while fielding came when Mandhana attempted a six for the final five runs needed for victory. However, her leg-spin slog-sweep was impressively caught one-handed by McGrath at the long-on boundary.

India’s Shafali Verma who scored 64 not out pats Smriti Mandhana on the back after departing for 54 against Australia

In the beginning, Phoebe Litchfield (49) and Ellyse Perry (37), who is already well-known in the field, worked together to save Australia’s innings after the young 19-year-old Sadhu had caused significant damage to the top-order players. Sadhu managed to take three important wickets, including Beth Mooney (17), McGrath (0), and Gardner (0), in her first two overs. This resulted in Australia losing five wickets in just 14 deliveries and ending the powerplay with a score of 33 for 4.

Litchfield was named the player of the 50-over series that just ended, as she scored 260 runs at an average of 86.67. She helped lead Australia’s comeback, but when she left the game in the 15th over, it triggered another collapse of six wickets for 29 runs.

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Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of the Indian team, caught Annabel Sutherland (12) for Sadhu’s fourth wicket, matching a record for the most catches taken in a women’s T20 international match.

Sadhu briefly celebrated a fifth scalp when Wareham was adjudged lbw first ball but the decision was overturned on review. The spinners Shreyanka Patil (two for 19) and Deepti Sharma (two for 24) mopped up the tail.

Source: theguardian.com