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INDW vs AUSW: 4th T20I, Review- India crash out of the series, Australia vs England in Final

India crashed out of the tournament following today's defeat

India women vs Australia women
India women vs Australia women. (Photo Source: Twitter)

More often than not, India starts a tournament in their home series as favorites and they have hardly disappointed.  However, triangular series also involving England and Australia turned out to be the scariest of nightmares for India. They slumped in their opening games and were required to turn over the Aussies in order to keep their hopes alive in the series.

However, yet again, India crumbled under pressure and was subsequently, brushed aside by the visitors with sheer disdain. Teams chasing have won thus far in the erstwhile games and hence, Harmanpreet Kaur’s choice of electing to field first didn’t spring a surprise. The conditions were bright and sunny and the bowlers were expected for another tough day in the office.

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India strike early, but lose momentum

The Aussies didn’t have an auspicious start as Alyssa Healy, spouse of paceman Mitchell Starc, succumbed to Pooja Vastrakar as she chipped a simple catch to Jemimah Rodrigues at mid-off. The joy multiplied for the Indians as Vastrakar nipped out Ashleigh Gardner and provided the hosts with a much-needed breakthrough.

However, Beth Mooney and Elyse Villani churned out the highest third-wicket partnership of 114 runs for Australia in T20Is. The stupendous stand, carved in 70 balls took the sting out of the Indian attack. Both trod the aggressive route and brought up their half-centuries as the innings progressed. The partnership laid the platform for a blistering finish.

The stand was broken when Villani attempted to thump leg-spinner Poonam Yadav over the mid-wicket region only to holed out to Rodrigues.  Nevertheless, Mooney played till the 19th over and guided the visitors to a competitive score on board. Vastrakar was arguably the standout performer for India as no other bowler could make a significant impact.

A rusty chase by Kaur and Co

The run-chase wasn’t beyond India’s radar by any stretch of the imagination, bearing in mind the record of the previous games. Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues commenced proceedings for the Women in Blue. However, they were jolted with a body blow when Megan Schutt cleaned up the in-form Mandhana for three runs.

The horror of horrors, Mithali Raj was castled in the same over and India found themselves in utter disarray.  Schutt inflected another major dent in the host’s lineup when a mistimed stroke by Deepti Sharma traced into the palms of Amanda-Jade Wellington at mid-off. Following the early wickets, India stared down the barrel for their third consecutive defeats in the series.

Jemimah Rodrigues looked calm and played maturely, but the required run-rate escalated at the rate of knots. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur stitched together a stand of 54 runs, however, it was built in 50 balls, which didn’t help India’s cause of chasing the target one bit. However, there was a momentary joy for India as the 17-year old Rodrigues brought up his maiden half-century in 41 balls.

However, to her dismay, pacer Delissa Kimmince nipped her out when she unsuccessfully tried to clear the long-on boundary. India needed 197 runs from 45 balls following Rodrigues dismissal. Harmanpreet Kaur found the boundaries on three occasions against Gardner and tried to bring India back in contention, however, she perished to the off-break bowler in the same over.

Post Kaur’s dismissal, India required 90 runs from 37 balls at nearly 15 runs per over, which eventually turned out to be a far cry for the Indians. Anuja Patil and Pooja Vastrakar entertained the crowd with a 53-run partnership, which included seven boundaries, however, Harmanpreet Kaur’s women fell short by a margin of 36 runs. A remaining couple of games before the Final are mere dead rubbers.

Brief Scores

Australia 186/5 in 20 overs; Beth Mooney 71, Elyse Villani 61; Pooja Vastrakar 2/28, Poonam Yadav 1/34

India 150/5 in 20 overs; Jemimah Rodrigues 50, Anuja Patil 38*; Megan Schutt 3/31, Ashleigh Gardner 1/24

Australia beat India by 36 runs

Player of the Match: Megan Schutt

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