Australia’s one-off Test against India ends in draw as tourists fail in late bid to force result | Cricket News

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Australia’s one-off Test against India ends in draw as tourists fail in late bid to force result |  Cricket News

Draw agreed with Australia 36-2 in second innings chasing nominal 272 from 32 overs; India declare on 135-3 in second innings inside final session; Ellyse Perry hits fourth straight Test fifty in Aussies’ first-innings 241-9; Australia lead multi-format series 6-4 ahead of three T20s

Last Updated: 03/10/21 1:39pm

Ellyse Perry is the first Australian woman to score four successful Test fisties

India Women’s late attempt to force a result in their one-off Test against Australia came to nothing as the contest in Carrara ended in a draw.

Having restricted Australia to 241-9 for a first-innings lead of 136, the tourists appeared happy to settle for a share of the points as they batted on into the final session at the second time of asking.

But at 135-3 captain Mithali Raj called in her batters, setting Australia a nominal 272 target and giving her bowlers 32 overs to take 10 home wickets under lights.

Despite two early breakthroughs, neither outcome ever really looked likely, and a halt was called after 15 overs with the Aussies 36-2.

The draw – and two points each – means Australia lead the multi-format series 6-4 after winning two of the three one-day internationals, with T20 internationals to come on October 7, 9 and 10, also on the Gold Coast.

A stalemate always appeared the likeliest outcome heading into the final day of the day-night match, although when Australia resumed on 143-4, 85 runs were still required to pass the follow-on mark.

There were some nerves as they approached that mark, and from 208-4 five wickets went down for 32 runs, but a partnership of 89 between Ashleigh Gardner and the record-breaking Ellyse Perry had ultimately taken them close enough.

Perry, who was given two lives towards the end of the innings and earlier survived a promising leg-before shout, became the first Australian woman to hit four straight Test fifties as she finished unbeaten on 68, while there was a first half-century in the format for Gardner (51). She, too, had a significant reprieve – dropped by Pooja Vastrakar off the bowling of Rajeshwari Gayakwad having made 20.

Gardner picked out mid-off soon after reaching her landmark, precipitating a jittery spell for the home side ended only when teenage No 10 Darcie Brown cover-drove for four to take Australia beyond the 227 follow-on.

Meg Lanning declared soon afterwards, and a second declaration was to follow seven overs into the final session after Shafali Verma (52) had continued her fine introduction to Test cricket with a third fifty in four innings.

Punam Raut’s brisk unbeaten 41 took India on after Verma had become Georgia Wareham’s first Test victim, leaving the visiting bowlers a sniff of a chance to pull off a remarkable victory.

They accounted for Aussie openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney inside 10 overs, but with the indomitable Perry back at the crease alongside Lanning, the drinks break was the cue for both skippers to admit the inevitable.

Smriti Mandhana, whose century helped India rack up 377-8 in their first innings, was named player of the match.

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