SO. The streak is over.
As always, records are there to be broken, and the Australian women’s one day international team’s winning run has finally come to an end.
Meg Lanning’s side was beaten by India in Mackay after stringing together 26 successes in a row, a world record for the 50-over format.
The winning streak began in March 2018 when the world we live in was a much different place than the one we are in now.
In fact, there is no doubt that if it wasn’t for COVID 19, then the central Queensland venue of Harrup Park would not have been a choice to hold an ODI between two of the best sides in the world.
But what a show the boutique ground has put on over the past three games.
After an easy win for the home side in game one, the world was treated to an absolute thriller in the second clash, which Australia won in controversial circumstances.
With 13 needed off the final over, Beth Mooney, who finished the game with a magnificent unbeaten 125, and Nicola Carey, steered the Aussies home but only just and some might say, me included, the streak should have ended on 25.
Jhulan Goswami bowled the final over and almost certainly trapped Carey LBW early in the over although somehow the umpire ruled it not out.
But what happened next proved even more controversial.
Goswami, who had hit Carey on the helmet with a full-pitch delivery as the pressure mounted, celebrated with her teammates as she had the left-hander caught at square leg with the Australians short of their target.
But after what seemed like an eternity, the third umpire ruled that the second full-toss of the over was over waist height and called a no-ball, meaning the home side needed two off the final ball.
Indian fans experiencing some rare international cricket in Mackay, Queensland
They got there to stretch the winning run, but it felt like a hollow victory and India in my eyes and a few others looked to have been hard done by.
Controversy aside, Australia probably just about deserved to scrape home, especially having been 4-52.
Tahlia McGrath’s maiden ODI half-century, Mooney’s brilliant ton and the determined Carey got the Aussies home.
India was crestfallen and another Australian win looked on the cards after an abject fielding display in game three from the visitors allowed Lanning’s team to set another tough target.
In reply, Australia’s fielding left a lot to be desired and the Indians closed in on victory.
A late collapse meant another twist in the tale, but this time Goswami held her nerve with the bat to hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.
It was not more than the Indians deserved, especially after the heartbreak of game two and Goswami described just what she felt after leading her team home.
“The way we lost the first match felt really bad,” she said.
“For me it was important as a senior member of the side to come back and deliver for the team.
“I just tried to hold my nerve and give my best.”
Despite the streak ending Lanning and coach Matthew Mott have plenty to be proud about.
This team has shown plenty of spirit and fight throughout the winning run.
Tahlia McGrath scored a solid 47 off 32 balls
There have been times in the past three years where defeat looked on the cards, but the likes of Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Mooney have showed just how important they are to this team.
What has also been key has been the emergence of new talent, such as McGrath, Annabel Sutherland and Stella Campbell.
There were injuries to star players such as Rachel Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen during the streak, so it was important the emerging players stood up to be counted, a point not missed by Lanning after the loss.
“Coming into this series we knew we would be tested with our depth,” the captain said.
“We would have loved to have had Megan and Jess with us, but it did provide some opportunities for us to give some younger players a crack and show us what they have got.
“I think everyone who has come in has played a role, which is great for our future.”
The Aussie team might have finally been beaten, but there is no doubt where this aide ranks in the history of the sport in both the men’s and women’s game.
International sides around the world will certainly go on winning runs in the future, but whether any comes close to this amazing record, is another question.
It seems unlikely, especially in the current climate.
But it will be good fun watching other sides give it a good old crack.
What is not in doubt is how good this streak has been for the women’s game.