Current RR: 2.71
• Min. Ov. Rem: 51.1
• Last 10 ov (RR): 17/2 (1.70)
Tea India 276 for 5 (Deepti 12, Taniya 0*, Molineux 2-14) vs Australia
Australia chipped away at India on the second day of the pink-ball Test after Smriti Mandhana had brought up a maiden Test century and finished with the highest Test score by a female batter in the country as India continued to forge themselves a strong position before another storm struck.
Mandhana departed for a magnificently-constructed 127, ending a second-wicket stand of 102 with Punam Raut, after which Australia made further inroads either side of the second new ball which included that of Raut who walked for a thin nick at the same time as the umpire was saying not out.
Ellyse Perry claimed her first wicket of the multi-format series in what was her best spell of the season to date – although she had been denied twice earlier, once when she overstepped to give Mandhana a lifeline and then when Beth Mooney dropped Mithali Raj – and shortly before the storm Raj, in what is likely to be her final Test, was run out by Annabel Sutherland.
With more time being lost, the onus will initially be on Raj in terms of whether she opts to declare with a smaller total than may have been the original plan.
Mandhana, who resumed on 80, was given a reprieve off her second ball of the day when she drove a full toss from Perry to point where Mooney took what appeared to be a fantastic one-handed catch diving to. But any debate over whether it was clean was rendered moot when replays showed Perry’s no-ball.
Having said the previous evening that she would not change her game in sight of three figures, Mandhana was true to her word. She moved into the 90s with arguably the shot of her innings, a perfect straight drive off Sutherland, and it took her just another 11 balls to reach the century when she twice pulled Perry for boundaries in the space of three deliveries.
She continued to pick off boundaries, taking her tally to 22 alongside a six, the best of the ones after three figures being a drive wide of mid-off against Georgia Wareham who was finally given her first bowl on debut in the 60th over.
Ashleigh Gardner continued to offer Australia the most control – her spell in the session reading 11-6-12-1 – and she made the breakthrough when Mandhana was lured into driving to short cover.
With Mandhana departed, India had two batters together – Raut and Raj – whose natural game is a more sedate tempo. Raut continued along in her own bubble while Raj played herself in as the new ball loomed.
Australia’s second wicket of the session came in debate-provoking fashion when Sophie Molineux produced an excellent delivery which griped and spun past Raut’s edge, bringing an appeal from Alyssa Healy. The umpire, Phillip Gillespie, said not out but Raut gave herself and walked off. With no DRS available for the series, she would have survived if she had stood her ground.
Sutherland had been impressive with the old ball but when given the first chance with the new one a wayward over cost 11 shortly before the dinner break.
Shortly after the resumption Raj got her life on 23 when she edged Perry into the gully where Mooney shelled Australia’s fourth catch of the innings in what has been another fielding display below their high standards.
However, Mooney made amends by taking a tougher chance when Yastika Bhatia, who had settled nicely on debut, was squared up by Perry’s movement with the outside edge carrying low.
Raj had played in a very controlled manner but her stay was ended by a direct hit from Sutherland after she had set off for a single to midwicket, been sent back and slipped a little.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo