Thank you very much Geoff, a sterling effort after a late night toasting the Demons.
And thank you also to India for a fielding display so catastrophic it allowed my five-year-old to recognise that even elite athletes can’t catch everything, and they don’t sit and hug their knees and cry when they fail.
India must chase 266 to win
What a bizarre innings of cricket. India had Australia four wickets down with 87 on the board, bowling well despite some bad fielding even at that stage. Then the fielding took over. It was genuinely atrocious, so many boundaries given away by players who couldn’t lay a hand on the ball when they were right next to it.
Australia got back into it with 98 runs between Mooney and Gardner, setting themselves up for a late tilt. Gardner scored freely, Mooney did the reconstruction work as she did the other night, then McGrath came in and battered it. India let it happen, dropping … how many catches? Half a dozen? And giving away runs by the score. Perhaps it can be a turning point. Perhaps they’ll feel chastened enough by this performance to really commit to getting it right.
Then equally bizarrely, India did pull it back just a touch in the last few overs. Could have been chasing 290, instead it’s 265. After the 50 overs they’ve just had though, getting charged up for the contest in the next 50 will be a very difficult ask.
That’s it for me. Jonathan Howcroft will be your companion from here.