Nicole Bolton's unbeaten hundred guided Australia women to an eight-wicket win against India in the first of the three-match one day worldwide series at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Monday. The Australians were disciplined, with Jess Jonassen taking 4 wickets and Amanda-Jane Wellington 3.
Brief Scores: India 200 (Pooja Vastrakar 51, Sushma Verma 41, Punam Raut 37; Jess Jonassen 4/30, Amanda Wellington 3/24) lose to Australia 201/2 (Nicole Bolton 100 not out, Alyssa Healy 38, Meg Lanning 33) by 8 wickets.
A 76-run partnership between Sushma Verma and Pooja Vastrakar saved face for India who managed to reach 200, and Kaur had enormous praise for the rescue efforts that were mounted by the duo.
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She tuned up for her global return in two practice matches last week against India A, dismissed for just one in the first game before retiring unbeaten on 63 in Thursday's comfortable tour win.
Bolton completed her 12th ODI fifty in the 20th over and despite losing Lanning to a run out dismissal, she continued to remain solid and saw Australia through the chase in 32.1 overs and in the process also completed a fine century.
The Australians faced no such problem with the bat as they lost just two wickets in the process to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
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With skipper Mithali Raj, the batting mainstay, unable to make the squad because of suspected viral fever, it was important somebody at the top of the order played a long innings. "I think to put on a dominant display like that is really pleasing and that's how we sort of want to go about our batting with really good intent". New-ball bowler Shikha Pandey was the only Indian to get a scalp.
The teams will now clash in the second match at the same venue on Thursday.
Kaur pointed out to her bowlers not sticking to the field settings and their tactics simply not working. This was the 18-year-old Vastrakar's maiden half century, and she laced her crucial knock with seven boundaries and a six, while Verma found the fence three times during her 71-ball innings. Bowling allrounder Vastrakar partnered No. 7 wicketkeeper-batsman Sushma Verma to breathe animation into an tail that has time and again failed to wag under pressure. While facing 50 deliveries, Raut struck six boundaries and a six.
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