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Puja Vastrakar gave a fine exhibition of power-hitting as her superb 36 not out off 27 balls took India to 118 after they were reeling at 81 for nine against Australia in the second Women's T20 International here on Saturday.
Vasktrakar, fondly called 'Chota Hardik' by her Test skipper Mithali Raj, has come of age as an all-rounder on this tour. She hit three fours and two sixes at the back end to ensure that India don't embarrass themselves on a track which was good for batting.
Even though the score is below-par against Southern Stars but Vastrakar's clean hits at least gave them something to fight for.
Interestingly, India were 81 for nine after the 17th over and in the last three overs, the tourists scored 37 with Vastrakar making all the runs in the company of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who could not open her account.
After an impressive show in the first game where their fearless batting was lauded, Indian batters flattered to deceive as none save skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (28 off 20 balls) showed the intent of taking the attack back to the opposition camp.
Instead, there was an inexplicable batting collapse with the hit-pairing of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma falling to Tayla Vlaeminck's (2/18) pace.
Then, spinners Sophie Molineux (2/11 in 4 overs) and Ashleigh Gardner (1/12 in 4 overs) stifled the batters during the middle overs with 27 dot balls and three wickets, which broke the backbone of their batting.