Was it Beth Mooney’s dropped catch when she was on 13 or was it Rachael Haynes cameo of 18 in 7 towards the end or was it Jess Jonassen’s fifer that cost India the final of T20I tri-series at Melbourne on Wednesday? May be a combination of everything.
Going into the finals, it was even steven for Australia and India to have the last laugh. However, the hosts managed to get the better of Women in Blue as they sneaked in a 11-run victory.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Australia posted a respectable 155-6 in 20 overs, thanks to Beth Mooney’s unbeaten knock of 71 (54), that included nine smooth hits to the fence. Ashleigh Gardner (26) and skipper Meg Lanning (26) played the second fiddle batting alongside Mooney to take Australia to a formidable score. Towards the end, vice captain Rachael Haynes smashed a seven ball 18, which included two boundaries and a massive six, to take her team past 150. The spinning duo of Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad scalped two wickets apiece.
In reply, India was bowled out for 144 in 20 overs. Child prodigy Shafali Verma was sent packing in the second over itself. Southpaw Smriti Mandhana showed her class yet again as she muscled 66 (37), smacking 12 boundaries. However, Mandhana could not find an able ally as the Indian batting failed to rise up to the occasion. For the Aussies it was slow left arm bowler Jess Jonassen, who wrecked havoc as she picked up 5-12 in her four overs.
As the Women’s World T20 in Australia is just less than 10 days away, this tri-series would have helped Australia, England and India immensely.
By Juilie Ballal
Juilie has earlier represented Mumbai Women’s team, she is also an IIT’ian