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2nd Women’s ODI: Richa Ghosh’s 96, Deepti Sharma’s 5/38 go in vain as Australia seal series | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Indian Women’s team fell narrowly short despite Richa Ghosh‘s career-best 96 and Deepti Sharma‘s 5/38 as Australia Women eked out a thrilling three-run win in the second ODI in Mumbai to seal the series 2-0.
As India failed to overhaul the 259-run target, Australia took an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
Ghosh’s resilient 117-ball innings filled with 13 boundaries led India’s response in the chase.However, the team faced challenges in the crucial closing overs, eventually finishing at 255/8 in 50 overs.
Deepti, unbeaten on 24 off 36 balls and Shreyanka Patil (5 not out) were left heartbroken as Annabel Sutherland successfully defended 15 in the final over.

Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana contributed with a quickfire 34 off 38 balls, showcasing early aggression with three fours and a six.
Despite the individual efforts, India suffered their ninth consecutive home defeat against Australia, emphasizing the need for a collective team performance to secure victories in future clashes.
Jemimah Rodrigues (44 off 55 balls) and Ghosh laid the foundation with an 88-run third wicket stand but could not deny Australia from maintaining their record in India of never losing a series.
In a contest wherein both teams dropped more than 10 catches combined, Litchfield eventually made the difference with two sharp catches after dropping one early on, which followed a fine knock of 63 in the first innings to top-score for her side.
Positioned at cover, Litchfield helped break the third-wicket stand to dismiss Rodrigues off Georgia Wareham (2/39) at a crucial juncture in the 34th over.
Later on, when Ghosh was one stroke away from her maiden ton, Litchfield pulled off another superb grab at cover off Annabel Sutherland (3/47) to deny her the feat and in effect, India a win.
Having kept wickets for all 50 overs of Australia’s first innings, the 20-year-old Ghosh batted with gusto and tremendous application, with her stupendous knock featuring strokes in all parts of the ground.
Ghosh also capitalised on two lifelines — one of which she got on the first delivery itself when Litchfield put down a tough chance at first slip soon after Yastika Bhatia (19) was dismissed.
Ghosh kept India in hunt with her partnership with Rodrigues, but Australia capitalised after finding a breakthrough. India’s hopes suffered a serious dent when Ghosh, who was cramping up in the later stages of her innings, fell in the 44th over and Amanjot Kaur (4) in the 46th.
With Deepti failing to get a move-on — she had contributed only eight runs in her 47-run stand with Ghosh — the task became even more challenging for the likes of Pooja Vastrakar (8) and concussion substitute Harleen Deol (1), who had replaced Sneh Rana for the remainder of the game in the second half.
Earlier, off-spinner Deepti Sharma stymied Australia’s surge with a stellar five-wicket haul but seven dropped catches by India allowed them to post a challenging 258 for eight.
Deepti exploited a dry and turning surface to a fine degree to return with figures of five for 38, but her hard work was undone by the hosts’ horrendous fielding.
She accounted for Ellyse Perry (50), Beth Mooney (10), Tahlia McGrath (24), Georgia Wareham (22) and Annabel Sutherland (23) for her career’s second five-for.
Alana King, who was dropped once each by Deepti and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, hammered three sixes to make an unbeaten 28 (17 balls) in a late surge to take Australia past the 250-run mark, which at one stage looked beyond the visitors.
Australia looked in complete command until the 22nd over, powering to 117 for one through a 77-run stand for the second wicket between Perry and Litchfield (63, 98 balls, 6x4s).
(With inputs from PTI)

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