Ellyse Perry's all-round performance helps Australian women avoid series whitewash against India
The Australian women’s cricket team avoided a huge embarrassment by securing a consolation victory in the third and final T20I against the Indian women’s cricket team. Ellyse Perry was the match-winner for Australia with a superb all-round performance, scoring a 41-ball 55 before picking up four wickets, as India failed to chase down the target of 137 and secure the victory that would have seen them secure the No 1 spot in the ICC team rankings.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj’s golden luck with the coin continued as she won the toss for the third time in the series and opted to field first. Following opener Grace Harris’ failure to score in the first two matches of the series, the hosts decided to send in Alyssa Healy at the top of the order but the experiment failed to bear any fruit with the latter getting dismissed for a first-ball duck. The worst possible start for Australia but a dream one for India as Jhulan Goswami went on to bowl a maiden.
Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning slowly but surely built up the innings for the hosts with a 49-run partnership for the second wicket which was ultimately broken by Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Mooney was the next to go with debutant Deepti Sharma picking up the opener’s wicket for 34 as yet another Australian failed to convert their start into a big score.
A direct hit from Harmanpreet Kaur sent Harris back to the dugout and leave Australia in a spot of bother at 97-4 in 15.2 overs. Ellyse Perry, however, provided the late-inning fireworks on the way to bringing up an unbeaten half-century with a last-ball six.
Australia finished their innings at 136/5 in their 20 overs, with 28 runs coming off the final two overs. Goswami and Deepti bowled beautifully, conceding only 21 and 19 runs respectively in their four overs while Gayakwad picked up two wickets but at a costly economy rate of nine-runs-an-over.
In reply, India got off to a brisk start with Mithali Raj and her opening partner Vellaswamy Vanitha stroking the ball confidently. Rene Farell got the opening breakthrough dismissing Raj for 12. The top order of Vanitha, Veda Krishnamurthy and Kaur all got into their twenties but failed to convert their innings into a big one as India failed to build decent partnerships.
Kaur looked in fine touch, smashing two sixes as she raced to 24 off 16 balls before falling prey to Perry. She exploited the weakness of India’s lower middle order picking up three more wickets conceding just 12 runs in her four overs. She was well supported by Farrell who returned with figures of 2/18 and in the end, India could only muster 121 runs in their 20 overs.
Nevertheless, India would be delighted at how the series panned out having won the opening two matches to secure a historic series triumph in Australia.
Brief Scores: Australia Women 136/5 (Perry 55*, Mooney 34; Sharma 1/19, Goswami 1/21) beat India Women (toss) 121/5 (Vanitha 28, Kaur 24; Perry 4/12, Farrell 2/18) by 15 runs.
India Women won the 3-match T20I series 2-1