India v Australia: women’s one-off Test, day one – as it happened | Australia women’s cricket team

Key events

There don’t seem to be any post-match interviews, so time to switch off from Mumbai. Performance of the day goes to Pooja Vastrakar, who picked up four for 53 in spells of aggressive, skilful bowling. The spinners gathered up the rest, alongside a dozy run-out in the first over after Australia won the toss and chose to bat.

Smriti Madhana (43 not out) and Shafali Verma then rattled along to put India in an excellent position for day two. Jim and I will be back tomorrow – thanks for all your emails, with the jury still out on coloured Christmas tree lights. Have a lovely day – bye!

What a cracking day of Test Cricket – with India well on top after bowling out the Aussies in just over two sessions and whizzing along to 98-1 at stumps, at nearly five an over.

Stumps! India 98-1, trail Australia (219) by 121 runs

19th over: India 98-1 (Smriti 43, Rana 4) Rana sticks bat and pad forward and sees off the final over of the day from Jonassen.

18th over: India 98-1 (Smriti 43, Rana 4) Smriti not freezing with the imminent close, guiding Gardner’s first ball for four. A near-mix up as Smriti turns down an easy single. One over to go – I think.

17th over: India 94-1 (Smriti 39, Rana 4) Australia delighted to see the back of the dangerous Shafali, the bowling change to Jonassen bringing instant results. Nightwatchwoman Rana is off the mark with a cover drive for four off a half volley. Five minutes or so of play left – a couple of over’s you’d have thought.

WICKET! Shafali lbw Jonassen 40 (India 90-1)

Shafali doesn’t want to go – but she must: pushes forward, misses and hit on the back pad.

16th over: India 90-0 (Shafali 40, Smriti 39) The start of a beautiful Mumbai sunset, as Gardner reels through her fourth – the first that isn’t a maiden.

One of the most important aspects of these two games for India has been Pooja Vastrakar comprehensively out bowling England and Australia’s seamers.

— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) December 21, 2023

15th over: India 86-0 (Shafali 38, Smriti 37) Gorgeous – Shafali, with perfect balance, kisses Perry straight back to the fence. Four more, a legside full toss, flicked off the ankles, closing the face for safety. Perry prevents more runs with a nice pick-up off her own bowling.

14th over: India 77-0 (Shafali 29, Smriti 37) Litchfield comes in under the lid at short leg. Gardner, short blond ponytail, long sleeved shirt, fizz at her fingers. Shafali carefully defends back. We must be heading towards stumps – but I’m not sure how close we are.

13th over: India 76-0 (Shafali 29, Smriti 37) Perry again, as the cameras pull back to show a bird’s eye of the Wankhede stadium. India happy to pick off a couple of singles. The commentators note that Shafali has calmed down a little, content to just push into the field.

12th over: India 75-0 (Shafali 28, Smriti 36) Gardner fizzing it out of the hand, four byes fly past Healy.

11th over: India 71-0 (Shafali 28, Smriti 36) Perry continues, Shafali not tempted by a fat, wide one first ball. An inside edge from Smriti ziz-zags past Healy for four, who covers her face with her gloves at the run-away scoreboard.

And, possibly, a last word on Christmas lights – this time from Gary Lloyd. “White lights here because that’s what it was last year and the year before…”

10th over: India 64-0 (Shafali 27, Smriti 30) Healy calls for spin, in the guise of Ash Gardner, and immediately the runs dry up. A maiden.

9th over: India 64-0 (Shafali 27, Smriti 30) Ellyse Perry replaces Cheatle, Smriti picks up two off the back foot, but then the bleeper goes for no ball. Smriti immediately pulls four square. And another, a wide Christmas pudding pinged to the offside boundary. Another no ball.

”A slightly controversial topic in our house. I’d opt for multi-coloured lights, but my wife is very much a white light woman,” writes Matthew L. “Does it look much better with just white? Yes. Would it look a total disaster if I was left to my own devices? Also yes.”

8th over: India 51-0 (Shafali 27, Smriti 19) Shafali sends Garth for another frisky, risky, edge past second slip for four. Striding wide and looking awkward. Much better shot for four more, an over-pitched ball from Garth sent on its way through the covers. Fifty up in 7.4 overs.

7th over: India 43-0 (Shafali 19, Smriti 19) Nice over by Cheatle.

“In the 1950s and 60s Christmas tree lights were always coloured,” writes Anthony Aldred. Thanks Dad!

6th over: India 41-0 (Shafali 18, Smriti 18) Another over for Garth, who has a pep talk from Ellyse Perry, as sudden sunlight through yonder Manchester window breaks. Inside-out, one-legged drive for four by Shafali – not sure she was completely in control of that. The next goes the same way. Runs notching up nicely here for India, though some testing bowling from Garth.

5th over: India 33-0 (Shafali 10, Smriti 18) Tighter from Cheatle, just a leg bye off it.

4th over: India 32-0 (Shafali 10, Smriti 18) Smriti eyes up a fractionally over-pitched ball, angles her bat, leans, and sends the ball screaming square. A second consecutive four as she steers one past her ankles to the rope. A dashing start here for India. And four byes polishes off the over, the ball swinging past Healy.

It seems Mark Gretton and I are outnumbered: “We have white lights,” writes Neil Smallman, “Simple is best!”

3rd over: India 20-0 (Shafali 10, Smriti 10) The shiniest bauble on the shiniest tree, as Shafali leans into Cheatle and sends her dashing through the covers for four. And another, glorious, an over-pitched ball driven square.

What have I started? Hello Robin! “Coloured lights are vulgar and garish and quite unsuitable for Christmas trees. Besides they scare Father Christmas’s elves and curdle his brandy…known fact.”

2nd over: India 10-0 (Shafali 0, Smriti 10) Smriti leans back and eases Garth to the rope, and a second through the covers – at least I think it was, they switch to ads before she’s through the shot. Ah no, just two, but four more come, very streakily, as Garth brings one in and Smriti is within half a breath of hitting her own stumps with an inside edge.

India’s innings

1st over: India 0-0 (Shafali 0, Smriti 0) Test debutant Cheatle opens the bowling, starting with a yorker and moving through the gears with every ball. Shafali plays her back: a maiden.

An outrageous christmas tree light opinion drops by from Jasper Lloyd: “Coloured Christmas tree lights are an absolute no no. They need to be warm white at around 3000K (Kelvin). However I drove through Hungerford last night and they have hundreds of small Christmas trees along the high street at around 4600k – which was very pretty, so there are exceptions to the rule.”

77.4 overs: Australia 219 all out (Garth 28) Harmanpreet, whose resting face is permanently set in lemon-chewing mode, looks even more disapproving than normal – but then Cheatle loses her battle with restlessness, and lofts, where Mandhana takes the catch running from mid-off. Rana finishes with three wickets, Deepti with two, Vastrakar with four. An excellent performance by India, but Australia did well to fight back from 7 for tw0, and then to add 51 for the last two wickets.

WICKET! Cheatle c Mandhana b Rana 6 (Australia 219 all out)

Cheatle has an impatient hoof and Mandhana takes the catch after seeming to lose it in the sky.

77th over: Australia 218-9 (Garth 27, Cheatle 6) Deepti wheels through six more, Australia see her off. The new ball will be available in three overs and the players take DRINKS! Total advert switch for women’s Tests – sanitary towels and washing machines!

76th over: Australia 217-9 (Garth 26, Cheatle 6) Cheatle drives powerfully and picks up four straight past a dramatically swallow-driving Rana. A tickle behind brings a boundary to Garth. Crucial runs this for the last wicket.

75th over: Australia 207-9 (Garth 21, Cheatle 1)Deepti continues – Australia’s bowlers must be licking their lips at what looks like it will be a nice little session at the end of the day. Garth sweeps, misses, the umpire reviews a stumped appeal – but Garth keeps the toe of her boot just on the crease. A maiden.

74th over: Australia 207-9 (Garth 21, Cheatle 1) Garth, wearing the mantle of accumulation responsibility, misses a sweep , but she and Garth pick up three singles.

73rd over: Australia 204-9 (Garth 19, Cheatle 0) Harmanpreet whistles for Vastrakar – which results in a chat with umpire – not sure what’s happening there. Deepti resumes. Ah – it is because Vastrakar was off the field for a certain amount of time and hasn’t made it up yet. Australia pass the magic 200, in fact five from Deepti’s over.

72nd over: Australia 199-9 (Garth 14, Cheatle 0) Another over rattled through by Rajeshwari.

71st over: Australia 198-9 (Garth 13, Cheatle 0) A straight drive past the diving hand of bowler Deepti brings Jonassen four, and, emboldened, she reverse-sweeps to her doom. India review a second lbw in the over against Test debutant Cheatle, but there is a deviation from bat onto pad.

WICKET! Jonassen lbw Deepti 19 (Australia 198-9)

Jonassen plumps for a reverse-sweep, misses, and the ball hits on the edge of the front pad. Given not out on the field, but India review and this time get their woman.

70th over: Australia 194-8 (Jonassen 15, Garth 13) Another maiden rips by – Rajeshwari reels through her variations: now has 12 overs for 28.

69th over: Australia 194-8 (Jonassen 15, Garth 13) Jonassen reverse-sweeps with aplomp, but Shafali is lurking at points and swoops with one hand to cut it of. Another maiden.

Hello Mark Gretton!

“Absolutely with you on the coloured Christmas tree lights. My childhood Christmases were in the 60s and 70s and a real tree with brightly coloured lights was how I learned it should be done.

”Though at times these days this has been much-mocked on social media by youngsters (ie people under the age of 50) with sophisticated white lights, I do love the coloured exuberance for its own sake as well as the memories evoked. And when was Christmas ever about looking sophisticated? Enjoy the flamboyantly coloured ecstasy!”

68th over: Australia 194-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 13) Garth picks up a single, off Rajeshwari; Jonassen tries to hurry things up by sweeping, inelegantly. India review it … though I’m not convinced, it seems to have hit her hip. Not sure Harmanpreet is either as she and Shafali Verma have a giggle as they watch the review. Two reviews remaining for India.

67th over: Australia 190-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 10) Jonassen tries to break the stranglehold by having a good old fashioned swipe at Deepti – but misses. Another maiden.

66th over: Australia 190-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 10) Another maiden, the third in four overs, as the slow left arm of Rajeshwari Gayakward returns.


Just like in 2014, when the BCCI refused to allow the ECB to make the Wormsley Test part of a points-based series.

Very odd indeed – I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to give the Test added context?!

— Raf Nicholson (@RafNicholson) December 20, 2023

65th over: Australia 190-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 10) Pooja Vastraka gets a rest, Deepti returns. Garth nearly falls for the switch straight away, having a drive of relief, the ball just missing the outside edge.

64th over: Australia 189-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 9) Rana smiling, always smiling, floats down tempters, full and slow. The elegant bare bones of the Wankhede stadium watches. A maiden.

63rd over: Australia 189-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 9)Vastrakar gets one to loop away from the probing Garth. The next jags in – super bowling. A maiden.

62nd over: Australia 189-8 (Jonassen 14, Garth 9) Interested to know if there is an OBO consensus on Christmas tree lights. After having warm white ones for ages, I swapped to coloured bulbs a couple of years ago and I love them – it really reminds me of my childhood in the 80s. Rana reels through another over, Jonassen tucks into a full toss on the pads and flambees it for six.

Evening session

61st over: Australia 182-8 ( Jonassen 8, Garth 8 ) Can India rattle through these last two wickets and get a good hour in with the bat? Harmanpreet turns to her daemon Vastrakar: nice, solid, tricky over.

Time for me to make a quick pot of coffee – back soon!

Tea: Australia 180-8

60th over: Australia 180-8 ( Jonassen 6, Garth 8 ) Carefully, carefully, Jonassen prods forward at Rana. And that’s the over, and the session. A tight-lipped Australia stroll over, losing four wickets in the first session, four wickets after lunch – advantage India!

59th over: Australia 179-8 ( Jonassen 5, Garth 8 ) Just one from Deepti’s over as Australia play for tea.

58th over: Australia 178-8 ( Jonassen 4, Garth 8 ) Rana continues as the dog snores net to me in a perfect doughnut. OOof, Garth nearly beaten as she plays forward, the next is on leg stump and Garth turns it away for four. “India” shouts echo round the fairly empty stadium. And Deepti shells another at slip, a hard one as Garth gets an outside edge and she can’t grasp on with one hand. A tricksy over.

57th over: Australia 173-8 ( Jonassen 3, Garth 4 ) Vastrakar. Fizzes one in which rises despite the low bounce and Garth ducks underneath. Ten minutes or so till tea.

56th over: Australia 170-8 ( Jonassen 2, Garth 2 ) Dawn has broken and the silver birch outside the window is now visible – waving its fingers in some disbelief at the Australian scorecard. They do at least survive an lbw shout in the over, as Garth is given out on the field, but saved on review which clearly shows bat before pad.

WICKET! King c Yastika b Rana 5 (Australia 168-8)

Rana replaces Deepti, a huge appeal first ball. The umpire says no, but India want this. And sure enough, a fine squiggle appears on the DRS monitor as King pushes forward.

55th over: Australia 168-7 ( Jonassen 2, King 5) Vastrakar, collar flicked, tail up, hedgehog hair high with product. Makes the ball sing,

54th over: Australia 165-7 ( Jonassen 0, King 5) King prods forward unconvincingly at Deepti, but it falls just short of Rana’s outstretched right hand at slip and rolls away for four.

53rd over: Australia 161-7 ( Jonassen 0, King 1) A fourth for Vastrakar, another excellent over, and a touch of swagger as she strolls back to her fielding position.

WICKET! Gardner c Bhatia b Vastrakar (Australia 160-7)

Gardner, drawn in, leans back and pokes like someone who doesn’t want to know what is hiding in the long grass. Bhatia does the rest.

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