Australian captain Meg Lanning is said to have rightly felt hard after an error by the referee to end her knockout prematurely.
The decision rating system, or lack of it, was the main talking point on day three of Australia’s day-night test match against India.
After India posted a formidable first-innings total at Metrion Stadium on Saturday, India postponed its statement until the sun had set over the Gold Coast skyline, a decision that quickly paid off for tourists.
Australia’s world-class batters were exposed to the swinging pink Kookaburra during the twilight sessions, which India fortunately avoided thanks to tropical storms in Queensland.
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Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning – the only specialist batters in Australia’s starting eleven – were each cheaply fired under the artificial light of the venue.
But Lanning would have rightly felt hard for a mistake by the referee to end her knockout prematurely.
In the 33rd over of Australia’s innings, Indian young gun Pooja caught Vastrakar Lanning in the front pad with a length release that went past the inside rim.
The Indians called on LBW and umpire Claire Polosak, who led her first Test game, awarded the wicket.
Replays, however, showed that Lanning had shoved the ball onto her pads. With no DRS available in the match, the Australian captain had no choice but to go back to the pavilion.
The controversial layoff frustrated cricket fans, many wondering why the DRS technology was not available.
Cricket reporter Melinda Farrell explained that the late change of location and logistical issues, including border closures, made it difficult for the DRS to be implemented.
The one-off test was initially scheduled to take place in Perth, but due to Covid-19 restrictions and border closures, the match was moved to Queensland at 11am.
ABC Tribune commentator Quentin Hull said: “If (Virat) Kohli and (Tim) Paine played a test here, do you think it would go through without it? New. CA must go all in to support the women. There will be 3 more T20Is in this stadium.”
Previously, India’s batters collected a record total to put themselves in a leading position on the Gold Coast. Australia were able to collect just eight wickets in 145 overs in the field, with Friday’s torrential rain making victories no longer possible for the hosts.
India’s total of 8/377 declared was not only the highest score by a women’s touring team on Australian soil, but also the first time an away team declared in Australia since 1984.
The Aussies missed veteran pace duo Megan Schutt and Tayla Vlaeminck, with the young bowling attack struggling to adapt to the Testarena, repeatedly bowling too short on the lifeless deck.
As revealed by Channel 7, only 10 percent of Australian deliveries are said to have hit the stump in the first two days.
The Aussies also dropped into the field with five dropped catches, three of which came from Sophie Molineux’s bowling.
To rub salt in the wounds, when a vintage Ellyse Perry yorker slammed Taniya Bhatia on her foot directly in front of the stumps, no one appealed.
There were some highlights for Australia on the pitch, with speedy teenager Stella Campbell claiming her first Test wicket, while Ellyse Perry became the first Australian woman to grab 300 scalps in international cricket.
After the sun went down in Carrara, Indian veteran Jhulan Goswami showed the Aussies how to bowl effectively with the pink ball, removing both opening batters before the evening break.
Goswami threw Beth Mooney through the gate with a ball that bounced back and hit the top of the stump.
The 38-year-old then sent Alyssa Healy’s back to the barns after tempting the wicketkeeper with a full delivery that zoomed out just enough to find the outside edge.
Though India’s sailors leaked some runs by throwing the ball up, the ends justified the means.
All-rounders Ellyse Perry and Tahlia McGrath held the ship still for a moment before the latter unnecessarily cut a short throw from Vastrakar directly to the point fielder.
Australia is 143/4 on stumps on day three, India still trailing 234 and needing 85 more runs to avoid the sequel.
Perry and Ash Gardner are the overnight ‘not-out’ batters, undefeated on stumps at 27 and 13 respectively.