Mithali, Pandey star in consolation win for India

India Women 234 for 5 (Raj 89, Mandhana 55) beat Australia Women 231 for 7 (Blackwell 60, Perry 50, Pandey 3-50) by five wickets.

Mithali Raj hit 12 fours in her 113-ball 89 as India won by five wickets in Hobart © Getty Images

Mithali Raj and Shikha Pandey were the architects of India’s consolation win in the third and final ODI in Hobart to round off their limited-overs tour of Australia just like how they started it.

Pandey’s three wickets, including that of the well-set Ellyse Perry (50) and Alex Blackwell (60) helped India restrict the world champions to 231 for 7. Mithali Raj, the captain, then built on a firm base laid by Smriti Mandhana (55) to stroke 89 as India cruised home by five wickets, with three overs to spare.

Australia, who opted to bat, made slow progress, but were lifted by the belligerence of Perry and Blackwell. The pair’s 100-run stand for the third wicket set them up for a 250 plus score before Pandey dealt vital blows to shift the momentum back in India’s favour. Cameos from Jess Jonassen (32 not out), Alyssa Healy (21) and Rene Farrell (29 not out) helped Australia cross 230.

India were driven by a succession of partnerships. Raj’s stands of 58 and 71 with Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur (22) respectively help allay fears of a middle order meltdown. Raj was on her way to a sixth ODI century but was run-out for 89. But by then, she had taken India to within 35 runs of the target, which was polished off by Pandey, Punam Raut and Jhulan Goswami.

With three wins in 12 matches, India are currently placed seventh in the Women’s World Championship. While the top four secure a direct entry into the 2017 Women’s World Cup, the bottom four will play a qualifying tournament with four associates to determine the remaining four spots.

India’s next assignment is a limited-overs series comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is against Sri Lanka in Ranchi later this month.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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