Queensland [Australia], October 9 (ANI): Australia batters held their nerve to beat India by 4 wickets in a low-scoring thriller at the Carrara Oval on Saturday. The home side chased the target of 119 in the 19.1 overs to seal the multi-format series with one match to spare. Australia won the ODI series 2-1, drew the Test and now this win in the second T20I has handed them the series.
Tahlia McGrath was the architect of this win for Australia as she scored an unbeaten 42, opener Beth Mooney also played a valuable inning of 34 for the home side. For India, Rajeshwari Gayakwad scalped three wickets while Shikha Pandey, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma returned with one wicket apiece.
Earlier put into bat, a brilliant Pooja Vastrakar cameo masked a fairly disappointing show from India. After Tayla Vlaeminck removed both openers inside the first three overs, the Aussies ran riot. It was an Indian innings characterised by poor shot selection and calamitous running between the wickets. But the Vastrakar cameo (top-scoring with 37* off 26) certainly kept them in the contest.
Chasing 119 to seal victory in the multi-format series, Australia was dealt a huge blow in the first over when a sensational ball by Shikha Pandey beat Alyssa Healy in both swing and seam movement. Healy walked back on 4 off 2.
Beth Mooney was then joined by Meg Lanning on the pitch and the duo made sure the home side didn't lose any more wickets in the powerplay. Australia's score read 33/1 after the first six overs.
In the very next over, Meg Lanning was removed by Pooja Vastrakar after the Aussie captain edged to Richa Ghosh. Lanning walked back after scoring 15 off 20 balls. Wickets kept falling for the home side, as India captain Harmanpreet Kaur struck in the 8th over and dismissed Ashleigh Gardner for 1.
Things went from bad to worse for Australia when their star all-rounder Ellyse Perry walked back to the dressing room in the 10th over, after Deepti Sharma struck for visitors. At the halfway mark in the innings, Australia's score read 53/4.
Tahlia McGrath then joined Beth Mooney on the pitch and the pair started rebuilding for the home side. However, Rajeshwari Gayakwad broke the partnership in the 14th over after she removed the dangerous-looking Mooney. The Aussie opener walked back after scoring 34 off 36 balls.
Gayakwad struck again in the 17th over as she removed Nicola Carey. With the match looking to go down the wire, Tahlia McGrath and Georgia Wareham took no chances as the pair amassed 11 runs in the 18th over and followed it by 13 runs in the next six balls, which almost sealed the win for Australia. In the last over, McGrath took one run and won the multi-format series for Australia.
Brief Scores: India 118/9 (Pooja Vastrakar 37*, Harmanpreet Kaur 28; Sophie Molineux 2-11) vs Australia 119/6 (Tahlia McGrath 42*, Beth Mooney 34; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 3-21). (ANI)