India women’s A tour of Australia finished on a disappointing note as they were beaten in the deciding match of the three game series by 3 wickets at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Monday. Put into bat, they could only manage 176 – 9 from the 50 overs, a total that the home side chased down with more than 10 overs to spare.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, India were in troubled almost from the start when they lost Shafali Verma caught and bowled by Molly Strano in the second over, a rare failure for the teenager. Then, two balls later, Strano had Nuzhat Parween caught behind for another duck.
Priya Punia and Veda Krishnamurthy added 27, but then Punia fell to the bowling of Annabel Sutherland, caught by Bridget Patterson. Devika Vaidya was bowled by Tahlia McGrath for another duck, before Krishnamurthy and Dayalan Hemalatha put on 41 together, before Hemalatha fell to another catch by Patterson for 20, Heather Graham the bowler this time. Krishnamurthy was the next one to fall, caught behind off Sutherland for 35, and although Arundhati Reddy and Anuja Patil added 28, India were struggling with the scoring rate. Patil gave Strano a third wicket, before Arundhati and Manali Dakshini put together the best stand of the innings, adding 50, before Arundhati was bowled by Tahlia McGrath for 45. The last wicket to fall was TP Kanwer, run out off the last ball, with Dakshini unbeaten on 23, as India closed on 176 – 9.
Strano was the best of the Australian bowlers with 3 for 29.
India’s total never looked like being enough, and so it proved, despite Patil taking the early wicket of McGrath. Georgia Redmayne and Patterson put on 47, and, although there was a minor wobble when Patterson was caught by Punia off Kanwer for 21, and Graham was caught and bowled by Hemalatha for a duck, Redmayne and Sutherland kept their side up with the required rate.
The visitors’ hopes were raised when three quick wickets then fell – Redmayne run out for 41, and both Sutherland and Tahlia Wilson perishing to catches behind off Hemalatha, but then Erin Burns and Amanda Wellington steadied matters. Wellington was out to Kanwer for 10, but Burns and Player of the Match Strano then combined to steer their side to victory with an unbroken stand of 58. Burns was 53 not out at the end, and Strano was undefeated on 22.
Hemalatha took 3 for 35, but her efforts were in vain.