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Australia defeats India by 21 runs as their women’s batting struggles

Australia defeats India by 21 runs as their women's batting struggles

In the third T20 International, Australian women displayed clinical precision to clinch an easy 21-run victory as Indian batting crumbled under pressure like a deck of cards.

The five-match series is now 2-1 in favor of Australia. India was in cruise control while chasing a goal of 173 when they were 106 for 2, thanks to some sloppy hitting from Shafali Verma (52 off 41 balls) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (37 off 27 balls). In just 8.4 overs, the pair had accumulated 73 runs, and 67 off 40 odd balls appeared easily reachable.

But after Shafali was holed out at the midwicket boundary, India went into a slump, losing four wickets for the addition of 17 runs in less than three overs, and the contest decisively swung in the direction of the Southern Stars. India was eventually bowled out for 151 in 20 overs.

Apart from Shafali, the other two heavy hitters were Richa Ghosh (1) and Harmanpreet, both of whom were struck out when attempting big shots, while nearly all of the Australian bowlers slowed down their deliveries to hinder strokeplay.

When Australia was asked to bat, they got off to a terrible start, losing skipper Alyssa Healy and Tahlia McGrath in the first and second overs, respectively. Australia was five for two in the second over as Renuka Thakur bowled opener Healy leg before wicket for just one and Anjali Sarvani dismissed McGrath with the score at one down.

However, Perry and later Grace Harris (41 runs off 18 balls) were crucial in helping Australia to a respectable score. Australia scored 93 runs in the last stages after being 79 for 3 at the midway point. Deepti Sharma, Anjali Sarvani, Renuka Singh, and Devika Vaidya each claimed two wickets for India. Ellyse Perry (75 off 47 balls) and opener Beth Mooney (30) revived the Australia innings with a 64-run partnership for the third wicket in seven overs.

Australia was 43 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay, but quickly-scoring Mooney and Perry increased their total to 68 for 2 at the conclusion of the eighth over. Then, in the ninth over, Vaidya gave India the breakthrough by ending Mooney’s promising innings. When Perry struck Vaidya for a six over the bowler’s head in the eleventh over, she had just hit Deepti Sharma for a six and was still going strong.

But two balls later, Vaidya got her comeuppance in the form of Ashleigh Gardner (), who made a superb catch thanks to Richa Ghosh. India briefly held the upper hand for two overs before giving up 14 runs in the 14th over, which saw sixes from Perry and Harris.

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