Mumbai: Stand-in Australia captain Alyssa Healy was in awe as a crowd in excess of 45,000 watched on as her side fell to a thrilling Super Over loss to India here on Sunday night.
The second match of the five-game series at DY Patil Sports Academy had it all as more than 400 runs were scored and the hosts snuck home after a thrilling climax that ended in a Super Over.
While Healy and Australia were on the losing side of the epic contest, the veteran wicket-keeper-batter said it was a thrill just to be involved with such a big crowd watching on.
“I mean, what a game of cricket that was and what a showcase of fearless cricket that is over here in India and for thousands of people to be able to witness this is pretty special,” Healy said after the match.
Healy only managed 25 with the bat after India won the toss and elected to field, but teammates Beth Mooney (82 not out) and Tahlia McGrath (70 not out) combined to put on the highest partnership by an Australian pair in women’s T20I (158 not out) as the visitors posted an imposing total of 187/1.
India appeared to be cruising in reply with opener Smriti Mandhana (79) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (21) seemingly in control while at the crease, but Australia debutant Heather Graham (3/22) swung the momentum back to the visitors with a crucial spell that meant the scores finished tied.
And Mandhana was the star of the show during the Super Over as India posted 20 runs from Graham’s six deliveries that Australia failed to chase down despite some big hitting from Healy.
“I thought we did well to be in that game,” Healy admitted.
“India were all over us right throughout that chase and the fact that we hung in there, took it to Super Over, we can be pretty proud of that,” she said.
Teenager Richa Ghosh managed a valuable 26 not out from just 13 deliveries to help India reach Australia’s lofty target and Harmanpreet was full of praise for the young star.
“I was always backing her, even when she wasn’t getting runs. Today we saw what we could do with her power hitting,” Harmanpreet said.
The teams now move to Brabourne for the crucial third match of the series and Harmanpreet knows where her team must improve.
“Fielding is something we need to keep working at, we gave too many runs today,” the India skipper said.
“The bowling was better today, because this wicket was too easy to bat on, nothing for the bowlers,”
“Fielding is the only thing we need to improve from today,” Harmanpreet added.