SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST; DOMINANT AUSTRALIA FINISH SERIES ON HIGH.

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Australia yesterday with a win had sealed the series and the sides today were out playing the final game of the multi-format series that saw Australia stage a strong comeback with the ball to finish the home series with a win.

Australia bag the ‘India/Australia Women’s series trophy’ 11-5; series seen competitive victories.

TOSS : India won the toss and opt to bowl. AUSTRALIA’S XI : Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Tahila McGrath, Nicola Carey, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck.

INDIA’S XI : Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh Thakur.

Australian openers made their way out, Alyssa Healy faced a maiden first up and the dot ball pressure saw her nick one to Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh had her maiden T20I wicket. Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning stitched a brilliant partnership that saw Australia not lose a wicket more in the powerplay and finsihed with score of 38-1. The 39 run partnership saw curtains as Meg Lanning was out hit wicket, walked back for 14(14), she’d just started to look dangerous but India will take it. Mooney on the other end was a threat and was joined by Ashleigh Gardner who failed to build on the good foundation as Pooja Vastrakar brushed Gardner’s blade on 1(5). Ellyse Perry joined Beth Mooney and at halfway mark Australia were 73-3. Ellyse Perry looked to accelerate her start but found Pooja Vastrakar in the deep who grabbed a sharp catch and it again was Deepti with the wicket of Perry on 8(11). Tahila McGrath joined a set Beth Mooney who soon got to her well paced 50*; Australia were at a stage where they needed quick acceleration and both Beth Mooney and Tahila McGrath got few shots out of their arsenal and smocked few through and India just at the right time with a few over left got the wicket of an attacking Mooney on 61(43) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad had her second and skipper Harmanpreet grabbed a screamer to complete the wicket. Georgia Wareham and Tahila McGrath with 16 balls to play did well to collect 32 and Australia posted a competitive 149 on board with Tahila McGrath repeating what she does the best, provided a perfect finish and Georgia did her bit to manage a couple of boundaries. The duo, Tahila McGrath and Georgia Wareham remained unbeaten on 44 and 13 respectively.

Beth Mooney batted brilliantly for her 61(43) that saw Australia post a competitive total.

The bowling overall was decent to restrict Australia to a total of 149, India didn’t get their spin right. Harmanpreet Kaur in her only over gave away 14 and Rajeshwari Gayakwad in her 4 had economy of 9.8 but had a couple wickets to her name; the only spinner good on show was Deepti Sharma who bowled her 4 with economy of 6 and had a wicket to her name. 3 pacers on show with Renuka Singh and Pooja Vastrakar who’d bowled well and Shikha Pandey again did start strong with a maiden but missed to have a good next couple.

Renuka Singh Thakur bowled tight lines and finsihed her 4 overs with figures of 23-1.

India in reply lost the ever threat, Shafali Verma early on 1(3). Jemimah Rodriques and Smriti Mandhana didn’t look to make the most of the powerplay as India bagged just 3 boundaries in the powerplay and all coming in the same 5th over as India finsihed powerplay with 28-1 on board. Post powerplay the duo did well as they ran hard, bagged boundaries and pushed India’s scoreline to 54-1 at halfway mark. Smriti and Jemimah looked to push the scoring a bit more but the 57 run partnership saw curtains with the wicket of Jemimah Rodriques on 23(26) and it was Georgia Wareham with the breakthrough wicket. Harmanpreet Kaur joined a set Smriti Mandhana and the duo stitched an intentful partnership, Smriti got to her half century but soon departed as Meg Lanning running backward took a very well judged catch to see the back of Smriti Mandhana on 52(49), a fine knock that saw rapid late surge. With the run rate just getting out of India’s reach they looked to accelerate but lost wickets in cluster as Harmanpreet Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar and Harleen Deol walked back in real quick succession just after Smriti’s dismissal; a few dot ball pressure got Harmanpreet Kaur to smash one over covers but saw Meg Lanning take another well judged catch at cover and was Annabel Sutherland with the key wicket, Pooja’s gamble didn’t work India’s way as she was out for 5(3) and was Carey who with a perfect yorker dislodged the bails and Harleen Deol running hard for a 2 saw her walk back as Georgia with a strong arm throw eased Alyssa Healy’s work to dislodge the bails. Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh tried hard to find a few maximums but didn’t get the connection when required and at the end Richa Ghosh smashed a couple of maximums and a four to end India’s tour, India failed to get to the required with Richa Ghosh and Deepti Sharma unbeaten on 23(11) and 9(8) respectively. India finished their 20 with 135-6, falling 14 short of the required 149.

Smriti Mandhana struggled to find a good start but when pulled the trigger went all guns blazing.

Australia made a strong bowling comeback to restrict India as at a India snatched the momentum but was special effort from Australia to bag a 14 run victory. 10 overs of spin, both Sophie Molineux and Ashleigh Gardner bowled well with economy of 5.5 with a wicket to Garner; Georgia Wareham bowled a couple and had a wicket to her name. Pacers on show again ticked boxes as Tayla Vlaeminck and Annabel Sutherland bowled 3 each and were brilliant with a wicket to Annabel in a crunch moment; Nicola Carey bowled her 4 and got some treatment from Richa Ghosh in the last three deliveries that put her economy over 10 but had a couple wickets to her name.

Annabel Sutherland stars for Australia with the ball, 3 overs 1-13; terrific spell.
Tahila McGrath, player of the match and series. Huge find this for Australia, in the middle order is such a fitting player who’s finishing games and has been impressive to deliver under pressure.

India with the ball did well to restrict Australia and bag wickets but with the bat saw a collapse that shattered their hopes of finishing with a win, despite the series defeat India were unbelievably good and dominant on the tour but just have failed to capitalise on crunch moments to bags wins. Australia with a dominant game finish the multi-format series 11-5 and bag the T20I’s 2-0, Australia have been outplayed several times but just have managed to find a way back that’s been rewarding to the side, the best for a reason.

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