Mackay [Australia], September 21 (ANI): Darcie Brown's four-wicket haul and a 126-run opening stand between Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes helped Australia thrash India by nine wickets in the first ODI here at the Harrup Park in Mackay on Tuesday.
With this win, Australia has not only taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but also Meg Lanning's side has extended its unbeaten run in ODIs to 25 matches.
Chasing 226, Australia got off to a solid start as opening batters Haynes and Healy put on 52 runs inside the first ten overs. The duo brought up a 100-run opening stand in just the 18th over of the innings with Healy being the more attacking of the two.
India finally got the breakthrough in the 22nd over as Poonam Yadav dismissed Healy (77) and this brought an end to a 126-run opening stand between Healy and Haynes. Australia captain Meg Lanning then came out to the middle to join Haynes. Both batters ensured that the Southern Stars do not lose momentum and they kept the Indian bowlers at bay.
In the end, Haynes (93*) and Lanning (53*) took Australia over the line with 54 balls to spare. The second ODI will now be played on Friday.
Earlier, Mithali Raj might have played a 61-run knock for the visitors, but Darcie Brown's four-wicket haul helped Australia restrict India to 225/8. Apart from Mithali, Yastrika Bhatia also chipped in with an innings of 35 runs with the help of two boundaries. Sent into bat, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana provided a quickfire start as the opening duo put on 31 runs inside the first four overs. However, Australia stormed right back as Brown dismissed both Shafali (8) and Mandhana (16), reducing India to 38/2 in the sixth over.
Yastika and Mithali then got together at the crease and both batters put on 77 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as India started to gain an upper hand, the side lost the wicket of Bhatia (35) to Brown in the 26th over. Deepti Sharma (9) failed to leave a mark with the bat, handing Brown her fourth wicket and India was reduced to 129/4 in the 31st over.
Mithali's strike rate was again a slight worry as she hit her runs off 107 balls and just when it looked like she would change gears, she was dismissed by Sophie Molineux in the 38th over. Molineux had Mithali stumped and this brought Richa Ghosh and Pooja Vastrakar together at the crease. The lower-order was not able to contribute much, and in the end, India had to settle with a score of 225. In the final overs, Richa Ghosh and Jhulan Goswami played cameos of 32 and 20 respectively.
Brief Scores: India 225/8 (Mithali Raj 61, Yastika Bhatia 35; Darcie Bown 4/33) vs Australia 227/1 (Rachael Haynes 93*, Alyssa Healy 77; Poonam Yadav 1-58). (ANI)