In Mumbai, India has set a challenging task for Australia to save the one-off Test match after a strong partnership between Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar propelled India to a solid position of 376 for seven at the end of day two.

Sharma, unbeaten at 70, and Vastrakar, not out at 33, joined forces just before tea, rescuing India from a precarious situation of 274 for seven, following a collapse in response to Australia’s 219. Their resilient batting performance, which showcased their career-best scores, kept Australia wicketless in the final session and extended India’s lead to a formidable 157 runs.

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The momentum shifted just before tea when Ash Gardner’s exceptional efforts (four for 100) revived Australia’s hopes. Gardner’s crucial catch at deep square leg dismissed the promising debutant Richa Ghosh (52), triggering a series of wickets. She further destabilized India by claiming quick successions, dismissing India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur (0) and wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia (one) lbw. The dismissal of Jemimah Rodrigues (72) to Gardner added to India’s troubles.

Although Australia threatened to dominate in the final session, Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar’s resilient partnership stood firm, placing India in a strong position to secure their maiden victory against Australia in women’s Tests.

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Earlier in the match, Smriti Mandhana led India’s charge with an aggressive 74 runs but was unfortunate to be run out before lunch. Meanwhile, in Australia’s innings, Tahlia McGrath (50 off 56 balls), skipper Alyssa Healy (38), and tail-ender Kim Garth (28 not out) were the notable performers against an impressive Indian bowling attack led by seamer Vastrakar, who claimed a career-best four for 53.