Canberra, Feb 2 : A four-wicket haul and a 47-ball 49 from Ellyse Perry helped Australia secure a four-wicket win over India in the third match of the T20I tri-series here on Sunday.
With a low target of 104, the Australia batters struggled as Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad restricted the run-flow at the beginning. The dangerous Alyssa Healy was dismissed by Shikha Pandey for just 1 in the second over while Deepti had the other opener – Beth Mooney – stumped for 6 in the fifth over. Gayakwad then removed Ashleigh Gardner just two balls later for 22.
Even as wickets fell at the other end, Perry persisted and chipped at the modest target with a rational approach. She shared small but important stands with Rachel Haynes and Jess Jonassen, doing the bulk of the scoring. Her 49-run knock included eight hits to the fence. By the time, she succumbed to Radha Yadav in the 18th over, Australia needed just five more runs. India bowlers gave their best fight, but with a low total to defend, failed to reign in the scoring rate.
Nicola Carey (9 not out) hit the winning runs, smashing a four through deep mid-wicket and handing Australia a well-fought victory with seven balls to spare. Perry, who top-scored with the bat, was even more impressive with the ball, returning figures of 4/13. With Meg Lanning ruled out with a shoulder injury, Haynes took over as the stand-in skipper. She put India in to bat earlier in the day.
The decision worked in the hosts' favour, as they kept India on a leash, picking up wickets at regular intervals. Teenager Shafali Verma, who scored an impressive 25-ball 30 in the previous game, was the first to depart. She was bowled by Perry for 5 in the second over. 11 balls later Jemimah Rodrigues was removed by Tayla Vlaeminck for 1. Smriti Mandhana and India captain Harmanpreet Kaur then stabilised the innings with a fighting 40-run stand, an ICC report said. Mandhana perished on 35 off Jess Jonassen in the 10th over.
Perry then helped Australia tighten the screws as she ripped through the Indian middle-order in the 14th over with a top-class display. Giving away just four runs, she first dismissed Kaur on 28, then had Taniya Bhatia and Deepti Sharma caught within the next four balls for ducks. The triple strike left India stuttering on 78/6. They suffered further when Vlaeminck removed Veda Krishnamurthy (8) and Arundhati Reddy (4) in the next over. India eventually ended up with a below-par total of 103/9. Perry and Vlaeminck were the picks of the Australia bowlers, picking up four and three wickets respectively, while Jonassen and Megan Schutt got a wicket each. India will play England in Melbourne in the next match of the tri-series on February 7. All three teams have now won a match each. Brief score: India - 103/9