Australia Women claim ODI Series victory at Vadodara against Indian Women

Australia 287/9 Bolton 84, Perry 70, Mooney 56 Pandey 3-61
India 227 /10 Mandhana 67 Jonassen 3-51, Wellington 2-20, Perry 2-41
by 60 runs

Australia put up another dominant display of batting to clinch the ODI trophy with one match to go. Put into bat by India, they set a stiff target of 288. In their ODI history, India have crossed 250 only once while chasing. Thus they needed to put in a special performance for a record chase. Bar Smriti Mandhana’s 67 off 53 balls and a handy knock down the order once again by Pooja Vastrakar, there were no other significant contributions. When India began their chase, it felt as if the two openers were batting on different surfaces. While Mandhana was batting at more than a run a ball, Punam Raut appeared to be batting on Mars. She struggled to rotate the strike. Her lack of fluency was covered by Mandhana who hit boundaries whenever she got the opportunity. In her opening spell, Schutt had figures of 5 overs, 8 runs with 3 maidens.

Mandhana perished in the 18th over while attempting a slog sweep off Jess Jonassen and finding the toe end of her bat instead. Raut (27 from 61 balls) followed her opening partner to the pavilion in the 21st over when in a bid to accelerate the run-rate she lofted Amanda-Jade Wellington straight to mid-off. Mithali Raj (15 from 14 balls), coming today at number 4, joined Deepti Sharma at the crease with the required run-rate at 6.34. Raj appeared to have shrugged off her illness, looking good during her short
stay. However, she was lured into a pull by a short ball from Ellyse Perry and only managed to edge it to the keeper.

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The Australian pacers kept on building the pressure and the required run-rate kept on climbing. The pressure claimed the wickets of Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy. Both fell in trying to hit big shots off Wellington. Vastrakar again showed compelling evidence of her batsmanship but India were always behind the 8-ball and were shot out for 227 in 49.2 overs. Jonassen once again was the top wicket-taker with figures of 3-51. Wellington and Perry bagged two apiece. Nicole Bolton (84 from 88 deliveries) was once again at the center of Australia’s innings. Fresh off a century, she continued from where she had left off. Her timing was impeccable, her stroke-making crisp. Curiously Alyssa Healy (19 from 37 balls) was subdued today. She got out by holing out to long-off while trying to break her shackles.

Skipper Meg Lanning (24 from 43) at number 3 was fortuitous not to be adjudged lbw early in her innings. She too failed to be fluid at the crease and perished when she holed out Shikha Pandey to sweeper cover. Bolton’s innings was cut short by an erroneous lbw decision by the umpire who failed to notice an inside edge. Rachael Haynes was castled by Kaur for a duck. 3 quick wickets and India looked to be gaining the upper hand. But Perry (70 from 70 balls) and Beth Mooney led a blistering counterattack to thwart India’s
hopes. Mooney (56 from 40 balls) was particularly hard on the bowlers landing blow after blow. When she was dismissed to a fine bit of caught and bowled by Pandey, Australia were in a strong position at 244/5. A couple of run-outs in the last over notwithstanding, Australia ended up with a daunting total and put paid to India’s hopes of leveling the series. Bolton earned her second Player of the Match award for her fine knock.

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