India 406 (Deepti 78, Mandhana 74, Gardner 4-100) and 75 for 2 (Mandhana 38*) beat Australia 219 (McGrath 50, Vastrakar 4-53, Rana 3-56) and 261 (McGrath 73, Rana 4-63) by eight wickets
Most of the hard work done by the likes of Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy on the third day to take Australia to 233 for 5 – with an overnight lead of 46 runs – was undone by India’s bowlers who picked up five wickets for just 28 runs in the first session on the final day. On a pitch offering turn and low bounce, Rana’s two wickets in two balls to dismiss well-set Annabel Sutherland and Alana King left Australia reeling. Gayakwad’s two unplayable deliveries then wrapped Australia up for 261, setting India a target of just 75, which they chased in under 19 overs.
Rana ended the match with overall figures of 7 for 119, the best for an Indian spinner against Australia, which also earned her the Player-of-the-Match title.
The day began with Pooja Vastrakar, fresh off her four-wicket haul in the first innings, providing the early breakthrough by trapping Ashleigh Gardner lbw with a little help from the DRS. The start of the collapse also saw India becoming desperate as they had two unsuccessful reviews after Gardner’s dismissal.
Amidst that, India’s spinners exploited the pitch better to move ahead. Sutherland, who seemed set to grind, fell to Rana for 27 playing the sweep shot when she gloved one behind, and India used a review to get the decision changed. The next delivery saw King getting an inside edge onto the stumps. At 251 for 8, the game was all but over for Australia with Rana scalping 4 for 63 in the third innings.
Gayakwad then completed the formalities, first flummoxing Kim Garth with an excellent delivery that spun sharply past the outside edge to hit top of off stump. In her next over, she tossed the ball up outside off stump and got it to deviate into the batter sharply. Jess Jonassen, this time trying to hold the fort for Australia with the bat, missed an expansive drive and got cleaned up. Having been a bit unlucky on the third day when she bowled wicket-taking deliveries across her 27 overs that didn’t fetch her one, Gayakwad came back well to bowl out Australia on the final day.
Chasing a small target, India lost Shafali Varma caught behind to Garth on the fourth ball of the innings and went to lunch at 29 for 1. Debutant Richa Ghosh threw her wicket away with 20 runs needed when she went for a wild heave across the line to hand Gardner her fifth wicket of the match.
The hosts, thus, completed back-to-back Test victories at home against two quality opponents in England and Australia, with clinical all-round dominance.