Sydney, Jan 31 (IANS) Australia women clinched the third and final Twenty20 International by 15 runs but visitors India lifted the trophy with a 2-1 series victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Sunday, ahead of the men’s last T20I.
Put in to bat, Australia posted a total of 136/5 in 20 overs before halting the visiting team at 121/8 in the same number of overs.
The Indian women cricketers created history at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday where their 10-wicket win resulted in their first bilateral series victory over Australia, the defending World Twenty20 champions who are eyeing their fourth successive world title in March, in any format.
The home team got a big jolt on the first ball of the match when opener Alyssa Healy, fiance of fast bowler Mitchell Starc, was caught off pacer Jhulan Goswami, later declared Player of the Series.
Opening batswoman Beth Mooney (34), skipper Meg Lannig (26) and Ellyse Perry (55 not out) consolidated the innings for Australia thereon, striking significant partnerships.
Perry’s knock, which included four boundaries and three sixes, was instrumental in Australia reaching the respectable total, which eventually they were able to defend comprehensively.
Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the pick of the Indian bowlers, clinching 2/36 from her four overs while Goswami and debutant Deepti Sharma scalped a wicket each.
In reply, India got off to a decent start with openers Mithali Raj (12) and Vellaswamy Vanitha (28) hitting a 33-partnership. Veda Krishnamurthy (21) and Harmanpreet Kaur (24) also chipped in but the touring team kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Australia did not allow India to strike partnerships, which is crucial in any format of the game.
India in the end fell short by 15 runs as Player of the Match Perry picked up four wickets, giving away only 12 runs in her four overs. Rene Farrel also picked up two wickets.
Brief scores: Australia 136/5 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 55 not out, Beth Mooney 34, Meg Lanning 26; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/36) beat India 121/8 in 20 overs (Vellaswamy Vanitha 28, Harmanpreet Kaur 24; Ellyse Perry 4/12, Rene Farrel 2/18).