Star all-rounder Ellyse Perry has vowed Australia will fight to “force a result” in a pink-ball Test against India that has been ruined by heavy Gold Coast rain and storms.
For the second night in a row at Metricon Stadium, stumps were called after less than two sessions of play, with India 5-276 in the 102nd over.
Smriti Mandhana’s maiden Test century was the highlight of Friday’s play before an Australia fightback slowed the tourists’ charge.
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But with the hosts poised to launch an attack on India’s middle to lower order, lightning hit, with the subsequent hailstorm and lingering thunder forcing pay to be abandoned at 8.45pm.
“It is frustrating,” Perry admitted in reflecting on almost a full day’s play already having been lost.
“We don’t get a lot of opportunities with Test match cricket, so when you do lose time it feels like a lost chance. It would be really nice to fill all those overs in.
“(But) we can play our part and do what we can to try to force a result.
“It will be challenging but if we get a chance I’m sure we’ll still try to push to make something of it.”
The tourists had been in total command of the contest at 1-195 in the 69th over when opener Mandhana’s marvellous innings finally came to an end.
Attempting to drive off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner, Mandhana was caught at short mid-off by Tahlia McGrath for 127 from 216 balls. Her innings was the highest Test score for a woman from a touring nation in Australia.
“I’m more than happy that I could that foundation for the team,” Mandhana said.
Her dismissal ended a 102 second-wicket partnership between Mandhana and the steady Punam Raut.
Raut’s honesty proved costly for India in the 81st over with the total at 217. Having clawed her way to 36 from 165 deliveries, she edged left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux to wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy.
Despite umpire Phil Gillespie turning down Australia’s appeal, Raut walked to give Molineux her second wicket of the match.
“She’s earned a lot of respect from us,” Mandhana said.
Former Australia star Alex Blackwell said: “I was stunned. I didn’t hear an edge.”
“Obviously she hit it. You don’t walk unless you hit it … but I was baffled by that.”
Having yet to add to her overnight score of 80, Mandhana seemed to have thrown her wicket away in just the second over of the day when she smashed a rank full toss from Perry to forward point, where Beth Mooney dived low to her right to seemingly complete the dismissal.
However, Mandhana stood her ground, waiting for confirmation that the ball carried to Mooney. It didn’t matter, with replays showing Perry had bowled a front-foot, no-ball.
Mandhana made the most of her second chance, bringing up her century – the first Test ton by an Indian woman on Australian soil – soon after with successive boundaries of Perry’s bowling.
Perry’s wicket of Yastika Bhatia (19) was a good reward for the all-rounder, who had toiled hard without anything to show for her efforts.
Over-stepping the crease in her first over of the day when she thought she had dismissed Mandhana was her own fault.
But Mooney did her teammate no favours when she dropped a sitter in the slips off Perry’s bowling that gave Raj a life at 23.
However, Mooney made amends soon after, holding on to a tougher chance to complete the dismissal Yastika Bhatia off the bowling of Perry (1-54).
— NCA Newswire
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MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs India, live scoreboard
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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