Rodrigues, Vastrakar propel India to 282/8 against Australia in 1st ODI

Mumbai: A fine 82 from Jemimah Rodrigues and a brisk unbeaten 62 from Pooja Vastrakar propelled India Women to their highest ODI total of 282/8 against Australia in their opening match here on Thursday.

India’s previous best against Australia in ODIs was 281/4 at Derby in 2017.

With several top-order batters failing to convert starts, Jemimah battled energy-sapping heat and humidity to carry her imperious form, notching up her second fifty in four ODIs this year, and the first against Australia.

The right-handed batter also recorded her second-best score in the format, laced with seven boundaries off 77 balls. She also forged several partnerships in the middle at the Wankhede Stadium, including a 68-run stand with Pooja for the eighth wicket.

Pooja displayed her big-hitting ability yet again, smashing the ball to all corners of the ground to bring up her fourth fifty.

The right-handed batter smacked seven fours and two sixes to remain unbeaten on 62 off just 46 balls.

India’s late surge saw the hosts collect 56 runs in the last six overs with Pooja carrying on after Jemimah had fallen to Ashleigh Gardner (2/63).

Earlier, it was a far-from-convincing start for the hosts, who lost Shafali Verma (1) in the third over with Darcie Brown (1/33) getting to nip one back into the right-hander.

Richa Ghosh was sent in at No. 3 and she made a sparkling start, hitting four boundaries to make 21 off 20 balls before mistiming one off Annabel Sutherland (1/43) to be caught at mid-off by Tahlia McGrath.

India suffered another massive blow when captain Harmanpreet Kaur walked back for a 17-ball nine after Darcie took a stunning diving catch on her left at short fine leg, off Ashleigh.

With wickets falling steadily, opener Yastika Bhatia continued to hold one end up to inch closer to a half-century. But she could not negotiate a tempting full toss from leg-spinner Georgia Wareham (2/55) and was caught by Megan Schutt at deep square leg.

Yastika, though, deserves full marks, as the makeshift opener gave a decent platform to Jemimah and Pooja to build on with her 64-ball 49.

Both Deepti Sharma (21, 28 balls, 4x4s) and Amanjot Kaur (20, 36 balls, 1x4s) squandered good starts to be dismissed in an identical manner.

After adding 39 runs for the fifth wicket with Jemimah, Deepti hit one straight to Phoebe Litchfield at mid-wicket off Alana King. Amanjot was also caught by Alana at mid-wicket off Georgia Wareham after putting on 45 for the sixth wicket with Jemimah.

Megan Schutt ensured Sneh Rana (1) had a short stay in the middle when she cleaned up the all-rounder in the 38th over, which had the pair of Jemimah and Pooja joining forces in the middle.