India women narrowly lose tri series tournament to Australia in finals

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Image Courtesy: AFP
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Started back in January, the 2020 Australia women’s Tri-Nation T20 Series among the women cricket teams of Australia, England and India has concluded, and the hosts have clinched the series victory, after defeating the Indian team in the final today in Melbourne. It was a close call between the two teams, and after a highly tensed game that could have gone either way, its the Aussies that came on top, beating India by 11 runs at the Junction Oval.

Image Courtesy: AFP

Australia scored a total of 155 for 6 wickets in the first innings. Chasing the target, the Indian team made all their efforts, but ultimately fell short in front of an amazing Aussie bowling squad, especially Jess Jonassen, who secured her first international 5 wicket haul, and was awarded the Player Of The Match award. Indian teenage sensation Richa Ghosh made her international T20 debut.

The tournament, which is observed as a final preparation before the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, kicked off from 31st January. The three teams battled it out in a league table. While all three teams had equally scored four points, the Englishwomen had the lowest Net run rate (NRR) of –0.169, and the other two teams proceeded for the final.

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Beth Mooney was the main factor behind Australia’s total. The 26 year old opener scored a swashbuckling 71-not out from 54 balls, with nine boundaries. With a total of 208 runs across the series, Mooney was awarded the Player of the Series award. The Indian bowlers Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad both secured two wickets each.

While the Women in Blue opener Smriti Mandhana started off the chase with a stunning knock of 37-ball-66 with twelve boundaries, her efforts went in vain as their whole batting order was wiped out in front of a brutal Aussie bowling squad after scoring 244 runs, with a brilliant performance from Jonassen securing five wickets.

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It was an unlucky day for Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who had to leave the 22 yards on just 14 runs. While Mandhana kept going till the 15th over, the Indian middle order fell prey to Jonassen’s vicious attacks in the later overs

“In the last three overs we couldn’t take the pressure and ended up losing wickets,” Kaur said in the post match interview.

Aussie skipper Meg Lanning appreciated Mandhana’s marvellous effort, and added that her wicket became the turning point of the match.

“It was a really good all-round performance. Getting Mandhana was the game-changer, she was whacking us all over the park,” Lanning told reporters.

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