The one-off pink-ball Test between India and Australia ended in a draw after Mithali Raj and Meg Lanning shook hands in the final session of Day 4 at the Carrara Oval in Queensland on Sunday.
With this draw, both teams will get two points each. The multi-format series after the ODIs and a Test currently stands at Australia 6 – India 4.
The Pink Test saw fine performances from Smriti Mandhana with the bat in the first innings, Shafali in the second, with the ball – Jhulan was outstanding and the others chipped in.
For Australia, again it was Ellyse Perry who came to the team’s rescue with the bat while Stella Campbell on debut impressed with her attitude to charge in and try at all times.
Resuming the third session at 106/2, Georgia Wareham removed Shafali Verma quickly. And shortly after just 7 overs in the final session, Mithali Raj declared the second innings of India with a lead of 271, with 32 overs left in the match.
India enjoyed a great start in the final session as Jhulan Goswami bowled Alyssa Healy in the third over of the innings. It was a short ball outside off and Healy played a lacklustre shot as the ball hit the toe-end of the bat and back onto the stumps.
Meg Lanning then joined Beth Mooney on the pitch and started stabilising the ship for hosts. However, Pooja Vastrakar struck in the 10th as she dismissed Beth Mooney after Aussie edged to Gayakward at fine leg.
After five overs, just as they were walking away for some drinks, Mithali Raj and Meg Lanning came together and agreed that it was enough for the day.
Smriti Mandhana rates her 127-run knock in pink-ball Test as ‘top three’
Indian cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian woman to score a century in a pink-ball Test and on Australian soil on Day 2 of the Test. She has rated her 127-run knock as one of the top three.
Mandhana was adjudged player of the match for her triple-figure mark. During the post-match presentation, she said: “It’s definitely in the top three (asked to rate this hundred). First time playing a day-night Test, really happy that I gave good pace (start) to the team.”
“Most nervous night I have ever had – after the first day. Lucky with that no-ball on 80. That sort of cleared my mind after that. To wear whites and go into the field is the top-most thing. The different situation today to bat than the first day and that happens only in Tests.”
“To bat with slips, the gully is a different feel. We just have three days before the T20s. Rest for a day and get back to business with the T20s coming up,” she added.
India played really well and put us on the back foot, says Meg Lanning
Australia skipper Meg Lanning admitted that the hosts were put on the backfoot by the Indian team in the one-off pink-ball Test.
“We certainly came to win as did India. India played really well and put us on the back foot, we had to fight it out. They ran in hard and gave it their all. We fielded every day in this Test,”said Lanning during the post-match presentation.
The match was hampered by the rain several times and Lanning feels if not for the weather, the pink-ball Test would have witnessed the result.
“Without the weather, we would have got a result in four days,”said Lanning.
It was a mixed feeling: Mithali Raj
Indian captain Mithali Raj expected the new ball to move quite a bit in the day-night Test as she described her experience of playing the first pink-ball game.
Interacting with the media in the post-match press conference, Mithali Raj talked about the positives from two Tests that the team has played this year.
“In England, we were on the verge of losing and the lower-order put on a brave performance. Coming to Australia Smriti has played well, her hindered was fabulous. Seamers have bowled well. Jhulan is obviously an experienced player and she has been in a good rhythm. Along with her [Jhulan] the two young seamers has stood out,” she said.
“It was a mixed feeling. I expected quite a movement with the new ball but it didn’t happen. In the latter half of the 1st innings, there was a bit of a movement. For my first experience, I thoroughly enjoyed being on the ground,”said Indian captain.
Raj also opened about the last-minute change of the call at the toss against Meg Lanning as she said, “You know with the history of me losing the toss I don’t want it to become my legacy.”
“And the way the girls have been pulling my legs for that so I thought let me change [the toss call] but clearly I think I need to take a cue from MS Dhoni regarding how to win the toss,” she quipped.
Brief Scores: India 377/8 d and 106/2 (Shafali Verma 52, Punam Raut 41, Ashleigh Gardner 1-31); Australia 241/9 d and 36/2 (Meg Lanning 17, Beth Mooney 11; Jhulan Goswami 1-8)