Australia Defy India’s Fight To Clinch Multi-format Series

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Australia defy India's fight to clinch multi-format series. McGrath's knock made the difference as Australia clinched the multi-format series following their victory in the second T20I.

Australia Defy India’s Fight To Clinch Multi-format SeriesMcGrath's knock made the difference as Australia clinched the multi-format series following their victory in the second T20I.

Tahlia McGrath's unbeaten 42 off 33 balls, which included six fours, helped Australia defeat India by four wickets with five deliveries to spare in a hard-fought encounter at the Carrara Oval on Saturday (October 9). Despite posting just 118/9, which was possible only due to No. 8 Pooja Vastrakar's 26-ball 37 not out, India fought well with the ball to have Australia at 94/6 in the 17th over. But McGrath's knock made the difference as Australia clinched the multi-format series following their victory in the second T20I.

Alyssa Healy opened her account by pulling Shikha Pandey for a four off the first ball of the chase but fell the very next delivery as the bowler pitched it on a length and got the ball to nip back in and rattle the stumps. Renuka Singh and Pandey kept the Australia batters quiet in the next two overs before Mooney and Meg Lanning scored four boundaries between them to help Australia to 33/1 at the end of the powerplay.

Lanning, however, fell to the left-arm spin of Rajeshwari Gayakwad, whose flight and turn had the Australia skipper edging to the ‘keeper. Ashleigh Gardner cut a short ball from Harmanpreet Kaur straight to point, while Ellyse Perry fell in her attempt to loft Deepti Sharma, with the India captain leaping to take a fine catch at cover. Mooney paddled one fine in the same over for a four as Australia moved past 50 in the 10th over but with a lot of pressure on them as they had already lost four wickets.

Mooney received some support from McGrath as they tried to revive the chase. They extended their partnership to 25 before Mooney stepped down the track to Gayakwad and tried to slog but was out stumped for 34 off 36. McGrath, meanwhile, struck a four apiece off Gayakwad and Harmanpreet to bring down the equation to 37 off the last five overs. Renuka conceded only six in the 16th over while McGrath managed a much-needed boundary in the next off Gayakwad. But the bowler bagged her third wicket when Carey left the crease and yorked herself and was out stumped – the ball popped out of Richa Ghosh's gloved but luckily for her it landed on the stumps.

With 24 needed off the last three overs, Pandey tried to keep it full and wide but Georgia Wareham managed to get one past point for a four and ended the over with another boundary wide of long-off – with Deepti and Vastrakar's ground fielding not being up to the mark. McGrath then went straight and through cover for two back-to-back fours off Renuka Singh in an over that yielded 13, and then hit the winning run

Earlier, after being asked to bat, India struggled in the PowerPlay, unlike the previous rain-hit encounter where they made more than 50. This time, though, they could manage only 25 and lost both their openers as well as Jemimah Rodrigues inside the first six overs. Tayla Vlaeminck sent Smriti Mandhana for 1 as the left-hander played across the line but mis-timed the ball to mid wicket where Nicola Carey took an excellent diving catch.

Shafali Verma struggled to get going, eventually falling to Vlaeminck as she top-edged a short delivery to depart for 3 of 7. The in-form Rodrigues tried to build a partnership with Harmanpreet but could only hit the ball as far as mid-on when she came down the track to Sophie Molineux.

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet, who had come out with a positive intent, scored two successive fours off Vlaeminck while hitting three shots to the boundary off an Ellyse Perry over. But she was stumped off Georgia Wareham for a 20-ball 28, followed by the run out of Yastika Bhatia.

When Richa Ghosh was bowled by Carey in the 12th over, India had slipped to 61 for 6. Deepti tried to lead India's recovery but she was run out for 16 off 19 while Pandey and Renuka did not hang around for too long, as the visitors were reduced to 81/9 in 17 overs.

That India finished with close to 120 was thanks to Vastrakar's cameo in the death overs. Having struck a six and a four off Carey – over long on and through cover – Vastrakar helped India past 100 in the 19th over, although Molineux conceded only 3. Hannah Darlington did not keep Vastrakar quiet in the last over as he struck a four over the bowler's head, hit a straight six and ended the final over with a whip to long on for a four as India scored 37 off the last three overs.

Brief scores: India 118/9 in 20 overs (Pooja Vastrakar 37*, Harmanpreet Kaur 28; Sophie Molineux 2-11, Tayla Vlaeminck 2-18) lost to Australia 119/6 in 19.1 overs (Tahlia McGrath 42*, Beth Mooney 34; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 3-21) by 4 wickets.

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