Australia women edge past India in T20I tri-nation final
Hosts Australia women came up with a fine performance to tame visitors India in the final of the T20I tri-nation series in Melbourne on Wednesday. The third team in the tournament was England, who could not finish in the top two, while Australia finished on top. All the three teams had won and lost two matches each, with India having a better net run-rate.
Australia's top order on top
Electing to bat, the Australian top order fired. Although wicket-keeper opener Alyssa Healy departed for mere four, the pair of Beth Mooney and Ashleigh Gardner put up a 52-run stand for the second wicket, before Gardner departed for 26. Meanwhile, skipper Meg Lanning, who came out at number four, too, contributed 26, as Australia reached 107/3 by the 15th over.
Mooney steadies ship amid Australia's crumbling middle order
Following the dismissal of Lanning, the incoming batsman of the middle-order could not fare well. As pressure built on Mooney, she handled it pretty well and steadied the ship, as she stayed unbeaten on 71 off 54 deliveries, while the hosts finished on 155/6. Meanwhile, among Indian bowlers, it was Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who claimed a couple of wickets each.
Indian top order off to shaky start
In reply, the Indian top order was off to a shaky start, with opener Shafali Verma departing early for mere 10, while Richa Ghosh, too, departed for 17. However, fellow opener Smriti Mandhana held the fort, as she, along with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, contributed a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket, to help India stay in the chase and edge closer to the target.
Aussies make a comeback, Indians suffer
Following the dismissal of Mandhana and Harmanpreet, the other batsmen could hardly be of any help. Meanwhile, the Australian bowlers pulled up their ante in the closing overs, as India lost their final five wickets within the final five overs. Furthermore, it was Jess Jonassen, whose economical and deadly spell of 5/12 sealed the game for the Aussies, thus winning by 11 runs.