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October 31, 2008
Australia women 2 for 186 (Blackwell 75, Sthalekar 73*) beat India women 6 for 183 (Goswami 46, Sampson 2-34) by eight wickets
Australia women's young fast bowlers had India on the mat in the first ODI that the hosts won comfortably by eight wickets at Hurstville Oval in Sydney. Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar scored half-centuries in chasing the modest 184.
Ellyse Perry, Delissa Kimmince and Emma Sampson - all right-arm bowlers - had played 33 ODIs and taken 41 wickets between them before this match. But India's strong batting line-up that includes Mithali Raj and Anjum Chopra - among the top ten run-getters in ODIs - struggled to score against the inexperienced attack.
Kimmince trapped opener Jaya Sharma in her second over and Chopra's attempt to revive the innings with a 59-run stand with Sulakshana Naik took up 17.5 overs. When Naik was caught and bowled off Kirsten Pike for 39 India had mustered up just 67 in 21 overs.
Three more wickets fell with the addition of 22 runs in the next 12 overs. Perry removed Raj and Chopra in successive overs before Sampson bowled Thirush Kamini for a duck.
Jhulan Goswami and Rumeli Dhar, India's strike bowlers, chipped in with the bat and took India to 150 before Sampson had Goswami caught for a 45-ball 46. While India scored at 3.66 an over, Australia raced to the target at nearly five.
They started slowly, with the openers adding only 41 in 80 balls but once Sthalekar came to the crease - when Poulton was bowled for 17 by Dhar - the run-rate shot up. She and Blackwell scored at nearly run-a-ball in their 116-run partnership.
Blackwell hit 10 fours in her 75 and Sthalekar nine in her unbeaten 73. The run-rate did not drop at the fall of Blackwell's wicket as captain Karen Rolton and Sthalekar wrapped up the match with more than 17 overs to spare.
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