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A torrential downpour was needed to stop India after an impressive start from the tourists in their one-off women’s pink-ball, day-night Test against Australia at Metricon Stadium on Thursday.

Asked to bat first after Australia’s captain Meg Lanning won the toss, India defied a green-tinged pitch to take early control in the first Test match between the teams in 15 years.

However, the threatening skies that held off for the entire first session finally unleashed in the second session, with India on 1-132 in the 45th over when a second rain delay forced players off the field at 7.34pm, just 15 minutes after they returned following an initial stoppage of 108 minutes.

Play was abandoned for the night at 9.36pm, with the Test to resume at the earlier time of 2pm on Friday.

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The early star of the contest was India opener Smriti Mandhana, who was unbeaten on 80 from 144 balls when play was halted for the second time.

Mandhana made a blistering start to her innings, bringing up her half century in just 51 balls before the Australians slowed India’s progress with some tighter bowling after a disappointing opening hour with the ball.

The Australians didn’t help their cause by failing to grasp three chances offered by Mandhana’s opening partner Shafali Verma.

Two were sharp opportunities that Lanning at first slip couldn’t grasp, but the third was a sitter put down by Annabel Sutherland at mid-on.

Verma was eventually dismissed for 31 in the 26th over, caught at deep mid-off by Tahlia McGrath off the bowling of left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux, who took 1-18 off nine overs before the rain came.

Dodgy debuts

Four Australian players – all-rounder Annabel Sutherland, fellow teenagers Darcie Brown and Stella Campbell, and leg-spinner Georgia Wareham – donned the baggy green cap for the first time.

Brown, 18, was given the new ball with star all-rounder Ellyse Perry but failed to fire, being hit for 28 runs in her four-over spell.

Sutherland, who starred with the ball in last Sunday’s one-dayer between the teams with the ball, was surprisingly relegated to being Australia’s seventh-choice bowler and delivered just one over.

She also dropped a sitter at mid-on in one of three lives the Australians offered to India opener Shafali Verma.

Par for Perry

Leading a depleted attack missing key pair Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen, star all-rounder Ellyse Perry was economical if not threatening in a seven-over opening spell that cost 24 runs.

Before the match Perry admitted she was under pressure to perform after a disappointing effort with the ball in the three one-day matches in Mackay.

Had skipper Meg Lanning held on to a tough chance at first slip in the third over when Verma was just two, Perry would have claimed a confidence-boosting wicket.

But she didn’t drop her head and worked hard without any joy in the face of some solid batting from the tourists.


Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Darcie Brown, Stella Campbell

India XI: Smriti Mandhana, Shafail Verma, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj (c), Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad

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