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Nicole Bolton: 'It feels nice to pay back'

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Nicole Bolton remained unbeaten on 100

Bowler Pooja Vastrakar, along with wicket-keeper batswoman Sushma Verma, put a 76-run partnership for the eighth wicket. The visitors achieved the target losing only 2 wickets.

Chasing a below par 201, the Southern Stars got off to a solid start with Bolton (100 off 101 balls; 4x12) and her opening partner Alyssa Healy (38 off 29; 4x6, 6x1) putting on 60 runs before being separated by pacer Shikha Pandey, who removed Healy.

Opting to bat first, India's opening batting order collapsed and Pooja Vastrakar scored the maiden half-century of her ODI career, thus becoming the first Indian woman player to hit a fifty at number nine.

Those same bowlers combined to pack her off in the first ODI as well. Not for the first time, the inability to play with soft hands and turn good balls into singles had hurt the talented 21-year-old.

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Meg Lanning's official return to global cricket for Australia didn't turn out as planned from an individual perspective with the Australia skipper getting run out on 33 after a misunderstanding with Bolton at the other end. As it happened, Raut was the best of the top order; India's top six were dismissed for 87, a combination of rash strokes (Mandhana, Veda) and good bowling (Harmanpreet, nicking a leg cutter from Schutt). Vastrakar's 51 off 56 balls - scored after coming in with India 113 for 7 in the 32nd - gave them much to cheer about, and they took special delight in the two lives she benefitted from. We wanted to be aggressive with the bat and Nicole Bolton led the way for us.

"I know we have not been consistent in the [South Africa] series with our fielding", Tushar Arothe, the India head coach, said. We are expecting more good performances from her. Nor did the one-sided fields India employed help; a defensive tactic will rarely win a game that needs early wickets. When the two teams last met, it was a 30-minute mayhem by Harmanpreet Kaur that turned the match in India's favour in the World Cup semi-finals. She is the 2nd fastest in Women's ODI cricket to reach this milestone after Belinda Clark (62 innings).

The Australians were disciplined with the ball with the spinners taking eight wickets.

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