Australia landed a crushing blow to India as visitors failed to finish the tour on high after suffering a loss by 14 runs in the third and final T20I here at the Metricon Stadium in Carrara on Sunday.
With this victory, Australia claimed the multi-format series 11-5. India wasn’t able to chase the target of 150 in the allotted 20 overs after a spirited performance from Australian bowlers.
Nicola Carey scalped two wickets while Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham, and Annabel Sutherland returned with one apiece.
Earlier, put in to bat first, it was again a crucial inning of Beth Mooney (61 off 43) and Tahlia McGrath (44* off 31) that proved the thorn in India’s side, propelling Australia to a competitive total of 149/5.
Chasing the target of 150, India had a horror start as Shafali Verma was dismissed in the second over of the innings by Ashleigh Gardner. Smriti Mandhana was then joined by Jemimah Rodrigues on the pitch and the duo made sure the visitors don’t lose any more wickets in the power play.
After six overs, India’s score read 28/1.
The duo continued with their cautious approach as India score read 54/1 at the halfway mark in the innings. However, Jemimah Rodrigues was removed by Georgia Wareham in the 11th over of the innings. Rodrigues walked back after scoring 23 off 26 balls.
Meanwhile, India’s most consistent batter this series, Smriti Mandhana brought up her half-century (off 46 balls) with a lovely lofted paddle over the head of a short fine leg in the 15th over. Later, in the same over of Nicola Carey, the Indian opener walked back to the dressing room after scoring 52 off 49 balls.
Hosts then completely gained the momentum of the match as wickets kept falling on the other end for India. Harmanpreet Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar and Harleen Deol were back to hut in space of 10 balls for India. With 41 runs needed off 12 balls, visitors managed to gather 26 runs in the last two overs.
Lanning: India really tested us and gave us a great challenge
Australian skipper Meg Lanning said the Indian side tested and challenged the hosts during the multi-format series.
“We were looking forward to today, knew India would come back hard. Been a great series, both sides have had momentum. India has really tested us and given us a great challenge,”said Lanning after the win.
“Tahlia McGrath, Player of the Series, is a great effort to dominate the series and a number of young players have contributed at different times,” She added.
Brief Scores: Australia 149/5 (Beth Mooney 61, Tahlia McGrath 44*; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-37) vs India 135/6 (Smriti Mandhana 52, Richa Ghosh 23*; Nicola Carey 2-42)