Half-century from Shafali Verma went in vain as timely strikes by Australia enabled them to defeat India by 21 runs in the third T20I in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Australia are now 2-1 up in the five-match series. Chasing 173, India left too much to do in the last few overs. India were off to a good start as pacer Darcie Brown dismissed both Smriti Mandhana (1), Jemimah Rodrigues (16) before the powerplay ended, reducing India to 33/2.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Shafali Verma carried the chase. They brought India to 41/2 in six overs at the end of the powerplay.
Harmanpreet kept the other end steady while Shafali hit some big shots from the other. She smashed Nicola Carey for three fours in the 8th over before sending Ashleigh Gardner’s deliveries for two sixes in the next over.
At the end of 10 overs, India were 79/2, with Shafali (43*) and Harmanpreet (10*).
Shafali reached her half-century in 39 balls and with that, she also brought India to the 100-run mark in 12.5 overs.
However, Carey’s medium-pace struck gold in the 14th over as Shafali was dismissed while attempting to pull a delivery when she was on 52 of 41 balls that included six fours and three sixes. India were 106/3 in 13.3 overs.
Devika joined Harmanpreet on the crease. Gardner brought Australia into the match, dismissing Devika and Richa for one run each in her over.
At the end of 15 overs, India were 113/5, with Kaur (31*) joined by Deepti Sharma (0*). They needed 60 runs in the final five overs.
Team India found themselves in genuine trouble after their skipper Kaur was dismissed by Megan Schutt for 37 of 27 balls in her 140th T20I. India were six down for 123 runs.
Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav kept Women in Blue in contention and 17 runs came off Carey’s 19th over, which included Deepti’s three boundaries. India needed 27 runs in the final over.
Schutt’s final over started on a good note for Australia, with the first ball being a dot and the second claiming the wicket of Radha for just four runs.
India could not accomplish the target and ended their innings at 151/7, with Anjali (2*) and Deepti (25*) at the crease.
For Aussies, Gardner and Brown took two wickets each while Carey and Schutt took a wicket each.
Earlier, half-century by Ellyse Perry and an entertaining knock by Grace Harris helped Australia overcome two quick strikes by Indian bowlers and post 172/8 in the third T20I in their 20 overs at Mumbai on Wednesday.
Aussies were reduced to 5/2 in the second over, but Perry (75) and Harris (41) helped Australia post a competitive total.
Put to bat first by India, Australia did not have a great start. Skipper Alyssa Healy was trapped lbw in the first over by pacer Renuka Singh for just 1 while Anjali Sarvani’s pace rattled recently-crowned number one batter Tahlia McGrath’s stumps for just 1. Australia was reduced to 5/2 in the second over itself.
Following this, Beth Mooney and Ellyse Perry started to rebuild the innings. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, Australia was at 43/2, with Perry (25*) and Mooney (14*).
The duo formed a 50-run partnership and threatened to undo all the hard work India had done in the first two overs. But spinner Devika Vaidya continued to impress after her return, dismissing Mooney for 30 off 22 balls, with assistance from Shafali’s safe hands at extra cover.
At the end of 10 overs, Australia were 79/3, with Ashleigh Gardner (5*) joining Perry (40*).
Devika got her second wicket of the match as she dismissed Gardner for just seven runs, reducing the Aussies to 89/4 in 11 overs.
Perry brought up her half-century in just 33 balls. At the end of 15 overs, Australia was 127/4, with Grace Harris (16*) joining Perry (70*) at the crease.
A 55-run stand between Perry and Harris was brought to an end by Sarvani, who clinched her second wicket of the match. Perry was back in the pavilion for 75 off 47 balls, with half of the Aussie line-up out at 144 runs in 16.1 overs.
Deepti Sharma and Renuka struck to give India two more quick wickets, dismissing Annabel Sutherland for just one run and Harris for an explosive 41 off 18 balls with four boundaries and three sixes. Australia was 163/7 in 18.1 overs.
Nicola Carey was dismissed by Deepti on the first ball of the final over.
Australia finished their innings at 172/8, with Alana King (7*) and Megan Schutt (1*) unbeaten.
Renuka, Anjali, Devika and Deepti each took two wickets for India.
Brief Scores: Australia: 172/8 (Ellyse Perry 75, Grace Harris 41, Renuka Singh 2/24) beat India: 151/7 (Shafali Verma 52, Harmanpreet Kaur 37, Darcie Brown 2/19) by 21 runs. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.