Australia completed back-to-back wins against India in the third T20I, beating the visitors by a margin of 14 runs. Australia batted first and put on 149 runs and the Indian batting collapsed in the middle, making just 135 runs in reply. Australia also won the multi-format series 11-5 and continued the domination at home.
Batting first, Healy got out to Renuka Singh, once again falling early in the series. Lanning fell after making 14 and Australia had reached 44 by then. The wicket of Meg triggered a mini-collapse as Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner also fell with Australia being reduced to four for 73 runs. Beth Mooney saw all this happening from the other end of the pitch but it didn’t deter her confidence.
Then came the game-changing partnership between Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath, the latter going through her purple patch. Both the batters compiled 44 runs and the partnership acted as a glue. Mooney got out after playing a superb innings of 61 runs off 43 balls. The wicket of Mooney only made Tahlia more aggressive and she rounded up India’s bowling well on her way to 44 runs innings of only 31 balls. Playing back-to-back 40s knocks in the T20s to give Australia advantage as she has done since the start of the multi-format series.
India lost Shefali early and failed to start at a quick pace. Mandhana and Jemimah did put up 57 runs for the second wicket but the latter fell without increasing the tempo; Rodrigues took 26 balls to score 23 runs. Mandhana made a half-century but then fell to Carey just when she looked to curb down the required rate. Once again, Harmanpreet Kaur fell looking to increase the tempo as the Indian capain got caught beautifully by Australian captain Lanning.
A late flurry of 23 runs in 11 balls by Richa Ghosh meant little with the innings losing its steam already with the wicket of Kaur. Annabel Sutherland ended up as the most economical bowler conceding just 13 runs off three overs. Meanwhile Sophie Molineux and Ashleigh Gardner kept things tight coneding 22 each in their full spell.
Tahlia McGrath won the Player of the Series and one can argue that her performances are worthy of the Player of the multi-format series(Alas! No such award!). Although India did lose the series if the team shores up the fielding and starts to manage tempo well in the middle of the innings, the squad can get on par with Australia soon. We will see how things shape up before the Fifty-Over Women’s World Cup next year.