Australia Women: 155-6 (20 overs)
India Women: 144 all-out (20 overs)
Smriti Mandhana 66(37), Richa Ghosh 17(23); Jess Jonassen 5/12
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Smriti Mandhana's fine knock went in vain as Jess Jonassen triggered an Indian batting collapse to help Australia clinch the women's tri-series final by 11 runs and end their preparation for the T20 World Cup on a resounding note.
Chasing 156 to win, India lost hard-hitting Shafali Verma early but Smriti Mandhana continued her fine form and played an array of shots. Richa Ghosh and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur played second fiddle to Mandhana as India looked to be in the driver's seat to win the game with about five overs to go. However, Jess Jonassen turned the game on its head with the ball and triggered a batting collapse for India. From being 115-3, India got bowled out for just 144, losing the game by 11 runs.
Earlier, Australia opted to bat first with a view to put the runs on the board and put scoreboard pressure on India. They did not get off to the best of starts as they lost Alyssa Healy cheaply again. However, fellow opener Beth Mooney batted throughout the innings and powered her way to an unbeaten 71, carrying her bat. She was ably supported by Ashleigh Gardner and skipper Meg Lanning who scored 26 each. Some late hitting from Rachael Haynes meant that Australia put a competitive total of 155 on the board in their 20 overs.
Alyssa Healy's poor form continued as she was again dismissed in the first over. Australia needed a steady start and needed runs on the board to defend later. Beth Mooney stepped up her game and to play the role of the aggressor. After absorbing the initital pressure from the Indian bowlers, Mooney began to play her shots and took the game to India. She formed crucial partnerships with Ashleigh Gardner and then later with Meg Lanning to give a strong platform for Australia to attack in the end overs. With star all-rounder Ellyse Perry out cheaply, Mooney knew she had to bat throughout the innings and that is exactly what she did. She scored 71* off just 54 balls which included 9 fours and along with Rachael Haynes's cameo of 18 off just 7 balls, helped Australia post a fighting total of 155-6.
Smriti Mandhana's stylish 66
Smriti Mandhana had been in fantastic form throughout the tournament and needed to step up in the final too. After losing the wicket of Shafali Verma early, Mandhana played the role that Mooney played for Australia and took charge of the Indian innings. Although wickets kept on falling from the other end, Mandhana continued to score runs at a brisk pace and kept India in the game. She scored 12 boundaries in her innings of 66 off just 37 balls and put India in a very strong position to win the game with last five overs to go.
Jess Jonassen bowls Australia to victory
India needed just 40 runs off 34 balls when Smriti Mandhana lost her wicket. With skipper Harmanpreet Kaur still at the crease, India were favourties to win the game. However, Jess Jonassen struck twin blows of Kaur and Arundhati Reddy in the same over and put India on the back foot. Applying breaks on the run-scoring, Jonassen also picked up the wickets of Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia and Deepti Sharma to clinch a five-wicket haul and help Australia beat India by 11 runs to lift the tri-series trophy.
For her amazing effort with the ball with figures of 5/12 which helped Australia win the game convincingly in the end, Jess Jonassen was adjudged the player of the match.
Beth Mooney was adjudged the player of the tournament after having a fantastic tri-series with the bat. After this morale-boosting tri-series win, Australia will be pumped up and raring to go for the women's T20 World Cup that begins from February 21 on their home soil.