The final of the women's T20I tri-series saw India and Australia battle it out for the title. In what proved to be a thrilling finale, Australia showcased their mettle yet again as they successfully defended a total of 155 with a clinical bowling performance accompanied by impeccable fielding.
Despite losing an early wicket, Australia managed to conjure impressive partnerships that kept the scoreboard moving. Opener Beth Mooney, along with Ashleigh Gardner (26 off 24 balls) and captain Meg Lanning (26 off 19 balls) anchored the innings during the start and middle overs.
The 15th and 16th overs saw the fall of two crucial wickets. But a quick-fire 18 off just 7 balls by Rachel Haynes, coupled with the continued onslaught by Mooney - who remained not out at 71* (off 54 balls) - ensured a total of 155 runs for the Australian side.
Brief scores: India 144 all out; Smriti Mandhana 66 (37), Richa Ghosh 17 (23)
India's first over was promising, studded with a spectacular four and a six off Shafali Verma's bat. However, the fall of crucial wickets in subsequent overs saw the required run-rate climb.
The 15th over proved to be a turning point in the match as India lost their star opener Smriti Mandhana, who had scored 66 off 37 balls and remained the top-scorer of the innings.
While the wickets continued to fall in the subsequent overs, two successive boundaries by Taniya Bhatia at the end of the penultimate over kept the game alive. But India's hopes dwindled again in the final over as the Australian bowlers and fielders put in a masterful display of cricket.
Jess Jonassen sealed the victory by claiming two more wickets in the final over.
A spectacular show
For her spectacular bowling performance and figures of 5-12 (4), Jonassen was named the Player of the Match.
The Player of the Series title went to Beth Mooney for her impressive contributions throughout the tournament.Published 12 Feb 2020, 13:24 IST