Australia v India: One-off women’s Test set for draw after just seven wickets fall on day three

Jhulan Goswami and India celebrate a wicket
Jhulan Goswami (being hugged by Shafali Verma) is the leading wicket-taker in the history of women’s cricket with 339
One-off Test, Metricon Stadium, Carrara (day three)
India 377-8 dec: Mandhana 127, Deepti 66; Molineux 2-45, Campbell 2-46
Australia 143-4: Lanning 38, McGrath 28; Goswami 2-27, Vastrakar 2-31
India lead by 234 runs

The one-off day-night women’s Test between Australia and India looks destined to be a draw after just seven wickets fell on day three in Carrara.

India declared on 377-8 – the highest score by a visiting team in a women’s Test in Australia – with Deepti Sharma adding 66 to Smriti Mandhana’s 127.

Australia reached 143-4 at close – 234 runs behind – with Ellyse Perry unbeaten on 27 and Ashleigh Gardner 13.

Jhulan Goswami took 2-27 and Pooja Vastrakar finished with 2-31.

With only 101.5 overs possible in the first two days a draw looks likely.

The four-day Test forms part of a multi-format series and is worth four points to the winner, or two points apiece if drawn.

Australia lead the series 4-2, having won the preceding one-day international series 2-1. Three Twenty20 internationals – each worth two points – follow the Test on 7, 9 and 10 October.

Perry reaches another landmark

Ellyse Perry career stats: Test runs 651, ODI runs 3135, T20 runs 1243, Test wickets 33, ODI wickets 152, T20 wickets 115
Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry became the first Australian – man or woman – to take 300 international wickets, alongside scoring 5,000 runs

Having resumed on 276-5 India added 82 runs for the loss of two wickets in the first session – Taniya Bhatia caught behind to give Stella Campbell her first Test wicket, and Vastrakar caught by a superb diving catch from Beth Mooney in the gully of Perry.

Campbell struggled on the first day and had to put sawdust on the crease, but Australia men’s bowler Mitchell Starc helped herexternal-link and her fellow bowlers by buying longer spikes.

Vastrakar became Perry’s 300th wicket in international wicket, making her the first woman and first Australian to reach that landmark alongside scoring 5,000 runs in international cricket.

India, whose total surpassed the previous record in Australia of 335 made by New Zealand in 1972, batted on for two overs after dinner, adding 16 runs and losing Deepti lbw to Campbell for a Test high score of 66.

Goswami stars as Australia battle

India got an early breakthrough when Goswami bowled Beth Mooney for four, as the left hander advanced and looked to flick through the leg-side.

A partnership of 49 between Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning nullified the tourists, before Goswami returned to have Healy caught behind. The veteran bowler beat Healy first up and then hit her on the shoulder, before the Australia wicketkeeper feathered to Bhatia for 29.

Lanning, who was dropped on 17, was then trapped lbw by Vastrakar after adding 38 – although replays showed an inside edge, but there is no DRS in this series – before Tahlia McGrath, playing just her second Test, slapped a short wide ball by Vastrakar to Mandhana at point.

Perry and Gardner battled hard to put on 24 in 10.2 overs to see Australia through to close, and their first target in the morning will be to reach the follow-on target of 228, which would more or less end any chance of a positive result.

A drawn Test is likely to be lead to more calls for women’s Test matches to mirror the men’s game and last five days, as was the case when England and India drew in Bristol in June.

At the time, England captain Heather Knight said five-day Tests “could be the way forward”.

Listen to ABC Grandstand commentary from day four of the Test match on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app from 04:30 BST on Sunday, 3 October.

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