Australia 186 for 5 (Mooney 71, Villani 61, Vastrakar 2-28) beat India 150 for 5 (Rodrigues 50, Patil 38*, Schutt 3-31) by 36 runs
An Australian record T20I partnership for the third wicket between Elyse Villani and Beth Mooney, followed by a hat-trick from Megan Schutt, who became the first Australian woman to accomplish the feat, consigned India to a 36-run defeat and knocked them out of the triangular series in Mumbai.
Schutt dented the Indian chase early by sending back the two openers in her first over. Having begun the over by conceding 10 runs off the first four balls, she bowled Smriti Mandhana, India’s most prolific batsman this series, who backed away to a full ball that deflected off the back boot onto leg stump, and then shattered the base of Raj’s offstump, when the batsman wafted at an inswinger that ricocheted off the inside-edge. Then, returning after a change in ends two overs later, Schutt had Deepti Sharma hole out to mid-off on the first delivery, as India were reduced to 26 for 3.
Jemimah Rodrigues, however, pulled India back and kept them fighting. Promoted to open the batting for the first time in the series, the 17-year old batsman crunched eight fours on her way to becoming the youngest Indian to smash a T20I half-century. After being reprieved on 22, Rodrigues whipped Amanda-Jade Wellington past deep midwicket off her 39th delivery to bring up the landmark. It was her maiden international fifty.
However, soon after, Rodrigues picked out Schutt at long-off. It ended a 54-run fourth-wicket stand with captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who struck two fours and a six, before perishing for 33 in the next over, trying to force the pace.
With India languishing a 97 for 5, allrounder Anuja Patil (38 off 26 balls) and Pooja Vastrakar (19 off 14 balls) got together for an unbroken half-century stand that hauled India to 150. But it was well short of the target as India suffered their third straight loss of the series and sixth straight defeat this home season.
Like India, Australia lost two early wickets, but Villani and Mooney strung together 114 for the third wicket. The duo rebuilt after medium pacer Pooja Vastrakar had dismissed Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner inside the fourth over.
Mooney’s ingenious scoops, deft strokes square of the wicket, and tempered heaves through deep midwicket earned her eight fours en route to a 46-ball 71, while Villani smashed through the cover region at will to wear down India’s six-prong attack.
The dup punished an errant India. When Jhulan Goswami returned for her second spell in the 15th over, she was penalised with a no-ball on account of five fielders outside the ring, and was then taken apart for a hat-trick of fours by Villani. The first of those fours gave Villani her 10th T20I fifty, off 35 deliveries. She followed it up with a slash to third man, and a drive past mid-off. To end the over, Mooney whisked a low full-toss to long-on to bring up her second half-century in the format.
Australia amassed 45 runs off the last five overs at the cost of three wickets. Both Villani and Mooney fell to catches by Rodrigues. Their partnership, which lasted 70 balls, was built at 9.77 runs per over.
Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, coming in for the injured Rajeshwari Gayakwad, picked her maiden international wicket when Ellyse Perry holed out to long-on, where Mandhana completed a catch at the edge of the boundary on the second attempt. Cameos from Lanning and Rachael Haynes gave Australia a strong finish to the innings.