Australia women emerged victorious against India women by 11 runs in the final of women’s T-20 triangular series. Batting first, Australia, thanks to a blistering half-century by Beth Mooney, posted a formidable total of 155 to which Indian women, in their reply could only manage 144, eventually going down by 11 runs.
Summary at a glance
Opting to bat, Australia got off to a worst possible start, losing Alyssa Healy to Deepti Sharma in the first over. Batting at 3, Ashleigh Garner joined Beth Mooney in the middle and started resurrecting the Australian innings.
The duo stitched a 52 run stand for the second wicket before Arundhati Reddy got the better of Gardner, dismissing him for of 24 balls 26. Mooney, however, looked in tremendous touch and played some blistering shots.
She along with skipper Meg Lanning (26 off 19) added another 51 runs for the third wicket. At 107-3 in the 15th over, Australia looked good for a 170+ score but regular wickets pegged them back, restricting them to a 155 in the quota of 20 overs.
Beth Mooney carried her bat with a scintillating 71 of 54 balls.
Just like Australia, India too got off to a miserable start, losing Shafali Verma for 10 in the second over. Smriti Mandhana along with Richa Gosh stabilized the Indian innings with a 43 run stand before losing Ghosh and Jemimah Rodrigues in quick succession, leaving India tottering at 65-3 in the 10th over.
With 90 needed in the last 10, Mandhana went berserk and played some crunchy shots to bring India back in the contest.
At 115-3 in the 15th over, it was all set for a thrilling finish but India lost Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur in the span of 7 balls, ending any hopes of an Indian victory. Jess Jonassen finished off the Indian tail, giving Australia an impressive victory.
Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen outsmart India
Australia owes this victory to two outstanding performances, Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen.
Mooney played a scintillating knock of 71 in just 51 balls, helping Australia post a challenging total before Jess Jonassen blew the Indian batting with a 5 wicket haul.
Smriti Mandhana was a lone warrior for India and kept India in the hunt with a majestic 66 of 37 deliveries.
India should be proud of their performance
To reach a final of a triangular series is an achievement in itself and India, with their victories over Australia and England in the league matches, should be really proud of the way they played.
They should also cherish the performance of Smriti Mandhana, who topped the list with 216 runs in 5 matches including two half-centuries and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who ended the series as the leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets in the 5 games.
Both these teams will now face each other in the inaugural match of the World T-20 on 21st February in Sydney.
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