Mackay [Australia], September 24 (ANI): Beth Mooney rose to the challenge like a pro and hit a brilliant unbeaten 125 to help Australia chase the target of 274 in the second ODI of the three-match series against India at the Ray Mitchell Oval, Harrup Park, on Friday in what was a thriller.
It was drama all around as the sixth ball of the final over was called a no-ball by the third umpire and Jhulan Goswami had to re-bowl it. And that saw Australia scoring the winning runs and keeping the winning streak alive -- 26 games now.
The loss will be a bitter pill to swallow for India, who thought they had squared the series at 1-1. The marginal waist-high no-ball call is sure to be debated for days now. For now, it is Australia who have taken a 2-0 lead in this multi-format series, and leave India with lots of work to do.
Chasing 274, Australia had a shaky start as Jhulan struck for India in her first over to send the dangerous Alyssa Healy back for a duck. Meghna Singh soon removed Meg Lanning in the 6th over of the innings after Rajeshwari Gayakwad took a very good, running-and-tumbling catch at the boundary line.
Ellyse Perry became the third Australian to walk back into the pavilion after a direct hit from Vastrakar got her run out. Australia's score read 34/3 after 10 overs.
Ash Gardner who walked in at No 5 started to rebuild the hosts' innings with opener Beth Mooney. But Pooja Vastrakar made sure to not let any partnership flourish as she dismissed Gardner in her very first over of the match. Gardner edged to Yastika Bhatia at slips in the 16th over.
Tahlia McGrath who walked in at number 6 started stabilising Australia's innings along with Beth Mooney. The duo with their patience, determination and excellent shot-making skills frustrated India's bowling throughout the middle overs.
Tahlia McGrath then proceeded to score her first half-century in ODIs in only 57 balls. Beth Mooney soon followed suit and smashed her ninth 50 in ODIs.
The stand between McGrath and Mooney soon reached the 100-run mark (from 116 balls) in the 35th over. In between, Mithali Raj tried several bowling combinations but failed to get a breakthrough.
After several overs of Australian dominance, Deepti Sharma provided the much-needed breakthrough for visitors as she removed Tahlia McGrath (74) in 39th over.
Beth Mooney on other hand continued with her carnage as she scored her second ODI ton off 117 balls in the 46th over. Australia needed 23 runs in 12 balls. Gayakwad bowled the penultimate over, as she conceded 10 runs off it.
Jhulan Goswami bowled the final six deliveries for India as Australia needed 13 runs to win the match. In the last over late drama happened when what should have been the last ball was called a no-ball for height. After that Australia needed two off the last delivery. Carey then carried the hosts home with a win as Australia kept the amazing unbeaten run in ODIs alive.
Earlier batting first, buoyed by Smriti Mandhana's 94-ball 86 and a quickfire 28 by Jhulan Goswami, India managed to score a challenging 274/7 in their 50 overs.
Mandhana showed class at the top as she looked all set to reach the three-figure mark. While the opener fell short by 14 runs, a 50-ball 44 by Richa Ghosh and a late flourish from Jhulan and Pooja Vastrakar (29 off 37 balls) helped India reach a defendable total.
Brief Scores: India 274/7 (Mandhana 86; Tahlia 3/45) vs Australia 275/5 (Beth Mooney 125*; Meghna Singh 1-38) (ANI)