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India Women suffered a 54-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the fifth and final T20I at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, December 20. India’s loss helped the visitors claim the five-match T20I series 4-1.
The fifth T20I had some resemblance with WT20 World Cup 2020 final between both sides at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where nothing went right for India and their batters had a day to forget.
Even though India seemed to be well prepared for this home series, the Australian challenge proved to be too much for them and barring the second game which the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side won in a super over thriller, the other fixtures were arguably a one way traffic.
Indian batters lose the plot chasing a stiff target
India gained the upper hand after immediately sending back the Australian openers Beth Mooney and Phoebe Litchfield cheaply. But stand-in captain Tahila McGrath brought things back on track by scoring a run-a-ball 26.
Though India rejoiced after Ellyse Perry’s dismissal, the middle-order duo of Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris propelled the visitors to a stiff total of 196/4. The duo was involved in an unbeaten 129-run stand for the fifth wicket. Gardner scored an unbeaten 32-ball 66 while Harris was not out on 64 runs off 35 deliveries.
India, in reply, never got going and found themselves playing the catchup game right from the beginning. They first lost star batter Smriti Mandhana in the opening over as she headed back to the dugout after scoring just four runs.
A flurry of wickets thereafter meant that the Indian resistance was cut short and at one point the hosts were staring at a humiliating defeat when Harleen Deol was dismissed for a 16-ball 24.
Spin bowling all-rounder Deepti Sharma delayed the inevitable. Even though the asking rate was way beyond India’s reach, Deepti ensured that India do not go down in a humiliating manner and kept the scoreboard ticking to reduce the margin of defeat.
She sucessfully registered her half-century and was dismissed on the last ball of the match scoring 53 runs off 34 deliveries as India were bowled out for 142. Heather Graham turned out to be the star for Australia as she bagged a terrific hat-trick and finished with figures of 2-0-8-4.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to India’s performance:
A dominant display by Australia in the final match against India 👊
— ICC (@ICC) December 20, 2022
— Akshat (@AkshatOM10) December 20, 2022
— Ananya Sarkar (@onnonya_tweets) December 20, 2022
The blue color is used to highlight the ‘impact overs’. The fact that it is in a different color suggests that it is NOT meant to be the norm, in a way. But when Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris decided to tee off, ‘impact’ is the new normal. Stupendous partnership. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/9Wg8pPfusp
— S. Sudarshanan (@Sudarshanan7) December 20, 2022
— Picasso (@6icasso) December 20, 2022
Really poor call to drop Jemimah, not play Yastika in her place and instead go with Harleen Deol at 3. The other two are way better T20 batters than her. #INDvAUS
— Aniket Pathak (@StoneSoupWager) December 20, 2022
As good an over of off-spin bowling as you want to see from Deepti Sharma. Classical flight and turn.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 20, 2022
Highest women’s T20I score by Indians batting No.6 or lower:
53 – Deepti Sharma v AUS, this series
40* – Richa Ghosh v AUS, this series
38* – Anuja Patil v AUS, 2018#INDvAUS
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) December 20, 2022