Australia 332/7 Healy 133, Haynes 43 Kaur 2-51
India 235 Mandhana 52, Rodrigues 42 Gardner 3-39
by 97 runs
A 3-0 clean sweep and the number 1 ODI ranking; Christmas was early for the Australians on Sunday as they completed an emphatic 97 run victory over India in the ODI series. Alyssa Healy would have been particularly pleased as she notched up her maiden ODI century to fashion Australia’s victory. Having finally won a toss, Australia chose to bat first. They started off cautiously. Shikha Pandey and Deepti Sharma began the proceedings and bowled with discipline with the result that Australia were only 18 by the end of the fifth over. Ekta Bisht reaped the benefits of the applied pressure as Nicole Bolton (11 from 18 balls) stepped down the track and straight into the hands of Bisht. India had drawn
first blood with the big wicket of Bolton. In what was the first of a recurring theme throughout the Australian innings, Mona Mesharam, brought in today in place of Veda Krishnamurthy, made a fine pickle of a catch at backward square leg when Healy flicked Pandey off her pads. Healy was on 27 then. Meg Lanning (18 from 14 balls), not before hitting some well-timed boundaries, was also out dancing down the track to Deepti Sharma. Mithali Raj took an extremely low well-judged catch to send her on her way.
Healy and Ellyse Perry then knuckled down and set about building a partnership. Meshram was in the spotlight again failing to grab a difficult chance by Healy at deep and instead parrying it over the boundary for a six. Perry (32 from 60) fished at a wide delivery from Pandey and instead landed the ball in Sushma Verma’s gloves. Australia were 147/3, the match very much in the balance. Healy brought up her century from just 95 balls in the 34th over. She then ran amok in Pandey’s eight over, with a barrage of boundaries on the off-side. Another tough chance was missed in the over, this time by Sharma. Finally, Healy was caught at long on off the bowling of Poonam Yadav and departed for 133 runs from 115 deliveries including 17 fours and 2 sixes.
By then Australia were well placed at 242/4 with 9 overs to go. Rachael Haynes, who put in a brisk hand of 43 from 39 balls, was involved in a mix-up with Beth Mooney and was run out. Ashleigh Gardner (35 from 20 balls) and Mooney, however, didn’t let the pace flag and kept finding the boundaries. Jemimah Rodrigues and Meshram had to fill in for Bisht who went off the field due to an injury. This proved to be costly as Meshram was taken for 20 runs by Mooney (34 from 19) in the 49th over and Australia set up a mammoth total of 332.
One may have well felt that India must have been deflated at halftime having failed to chase 288 in the previous ODI. But the new pair of Indian openers, Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana, showed plenty of spirit. They took on all the bowlers and manufactured shots to find the boundary required every over. By the end of the Powerplay India were 68/0, bang on the required run rate. However, the 14th over by Gardner snuffed out India’s momentum. She dismissed the openers off consecutive deliveries by tossing them up. Rodrigues (42 from 41) heaved hers and was sent back by a fine catch Haynes. Mandhana (52 from 42 balls) missed hers and was adjudged lbw. Kaur and Raj kept the score ticking before Kaur (25 from 26) edged a short and wide delivery from Nicola Carey into Healy’s gloves.
Haynes took another fine low catch when Raj (21 from 38) stepped down the track to hit Jess Jonassen straight to mid-wicket. Meshram (1 from 5) too came down the track and hit towards deep mid-wicket to cap off a wretched day for her. Slowly, the required run rate began to rise. Sharma and Verma struggled to find the ropes. A slower
delivery from Megan Schutt deceived Verma (30 from 35) who drove straight to cover. By then India needed 10.18 per over with 4 wickets in hand. Ultimately the pressure proved too much for the lower order and India folded for 235 in 44.4 overs.
While Healy naturally received the Player of the Match award, Bolton bagged the Player of the Series award for amassing 195 runs at an average of 65.