Openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney struck superb half-centuries to cap clinical bowling performance and helped Australia Women beat India Women by seven wickets in the third and final T20I match and win the series 2-1 at the DY Patil Stadium here on Tuesday.
Skipper Healy blazed to her half-century off 34 balls as she scored 55 off 38 balls while Mooney remained unbeaten on 52 off 45 balls as Australia raced to 149/3 in 18.4 overs after restricting India Women to 147/6 in 20 overs after electing to bowl first.
Healy and Mooney raised 85 runs for the opening wicket, racing to 54 for no loss in the Powerplay. Healy struck three boundaries off Titas Sadhu in the fourth over, hammered Renuka Singh for a six — hammered over wide long-on off a fullish delivery outside the off-stump — and two boundaries in four balls of the fifth over as the Australians made a good start.
In all, Healy, who survived a scare when a sharp catch off a dipping ball picked up by Jemimah Rodrigues was ruled in her favour by the TV umpire after watching many replays, struck nine boundaries and the lone six of the Australian innings. She was judged out through DRS, trapped leg before wicket by Deepti Sharma attempting a reverse sweep off a full delivery outside off-stump. While Ultra Edge ruled that bat was not involved, HawkEye suggested it would have gone on to hit the middle and leg stump.
Pooja Vastrakar claimed two wickets — Tahlia McGrath (20) and Ellyse Perry (0) — off successive deliveries but that was too late and too little. With eight needed off the last two overs, Mooney struck boundaries off successive balls in the 19th over to seal victory for Australia.
India Women had started the three-match T20I series by winning the opening game while the visitors came back strongly to win the second game. The fate of the series depended on this match and the Aussies set themselves up with a clinical bowling performance.
Shafali Verma, who blazed to a 17-ball 26 studded with six boundaries, Smriti Mandhana (29) and Richa Ghosh (24) got starts but failed to capitalise and get to substantial scores as India could manage a decent score of 147/6 in 20 overs.
Four of her boundaries came off Kim Garth while Megan Schutt endured the other two as she gave India a brisk start. But Schutt had the last laugh as she had Shafali driving away from her body and the ball nicked the toe-end of the bat on its way to Healy.
India lost three quick wickets losing Jemimah Rodrigues (2), Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur (3) as India slumped to 66/4 in the 10th over. Richa Ghosh revived the innings with a 28-ball 34 studded with two boundaries and three sixes while Amanjot Kaur scored 17 not out off 14 balls as India reached 147/6, which in the end proved insufficient as their bowlers failed to trouble the visitors.
Sutherland and Georgia Wareham ended with two wickets apiece for 12 and 24 runs respectively for Australia.
With this India ended two back-to-back multi-format series against two of the top teams in the World — Australia and England, by winning both the Test matches but could manage only two wins in six white-ball matches.
With no more matches scheduled till the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in the middle of the year, the team management will have a few issues to solve before the mega event.
India Women 147/6 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 26, Smriti Mandhana 29, Richa Ghosh 34; Annabel Sutherland 2-12, Georgia Wareham 2-24) lost to Australia Women 149/3 in 18.4 overs (Alyssa Healy 55, Beth Mooney 52 not out; Pooja Vastrakar 2-26) by seven wickets.