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The Hindu
The Hindu

Australia women sweep series as the Litchfield-Healy duo has a smashing day at the office

In sport, Australians are always in it to win it, whether it’s a decider or a dead rubber. Annabel Sutherland echoed this sentiment in her clarion call to go for the 3-0 sweep ahead of the third and final ODI between India and Australia. Her team did just that, beating the host by a massive 190 runs at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.

The Aussie juggernaut was led by a young and unassuming Phoebe Litchfield. After finishing 2023 as the second-highest run scorer in women’s ODIs (485 runs), the 20-year-old rang in the new year with her second ODI hundred. Litchfield vindicated Healy’s decision to bat first, putting on a 189-run opening partnership, the highest for Australia against India in women’s ODIs. The Indian response eventually fell short of this stand alone by 41 runs.

Pooja Vastrakar ripped into Healy’s stumps in the 29th over, with the Aussie captain missing out on a century by 18 runs. Ellyse Perry couldn’t add to her half century haul, caught leg before by Amanjot Kaur for 16.

Shreyanka Patil impressed with her tight lines and control, dismissing Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath off consecutive deliveries. Litchfield carried on, employing her trademark reverse sweep with elan as she scored the season’s highest score including 16 boundaries and one six.

Healy’s dismissal triggered a dip in the scoring rate. After a few nervy moments in the 90s where she saw partners fall at the other end, Litchfield brought up her century with a smooth nudge down the ground for four.

Cameos from Ashleigh Gardner and Annabel Sutherland and another explosive late flourish from Alana King helped Australia to its highest total against India in the format.

Megan Schutt snuffed out momentum from the Indian innings early on, removing openers Yastika Bhatia and Smriti Mandhana cheaply. The host stuck to its decision to send Richa Ghosh at three, however the keeper-batter never settled into the chase.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s horror run with the bat continued with the skipper falling for three, ending the series with a paltry 17 runs in total.

Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma and Pooja got starts but could not capitalise. The last six Indian wickets fell in just 12.2 overs for just 50 runs. King’s delivery to Pooja, a classic legbreak pitched full on the leg stump which then spun away to hit her off stump was a dismissal for the highlight reel.

India’s fielding effort showed an improvement from the second ODI, however, Deepti dropped Litchfield on 61 at backward point and Smriti dropped Perry at deep midwicket on 10.

The Australian response on the field was in sharp contrast, with Litchfield taking a blinder to dismiss Amanjot and Mooney scurrying from slip to leg slip to pocket a paddle sweep attempt by Harmanpreet.

Australia’s tour of India moves into its final leg with a three-match T20I series to be played at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai from January 5-9.


AUSTRALIA INNINGS: Phoebe Litchfield c Harmanpreet b Deepti 119 (125b, 16x4, 1x6), Alyssa Healy b Pooja 82 (85b, 4x4, 3x6), Ellyse Perry lbw b Amanjot 16 (9b, 3x4), Beth Mooney lbw b Shreyanka 3 (10b), Tahlia McGrath lbw b Shreyanka 0 (1b), Ashleigh Gardner b Shreyanka 30 (27b, 4x4), Annabel Sutherland c Harmanpreet b Amanjot 23 (21b, 2x4, 1x6), Georgia Wareham (not out) 11 (8b, 2x4), Alana King (not out) 26 (14b, 1x4, 3x6); Extras (lb-8, w-20): 28.

Total (for seven wkts. in 50 overs): 338.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-189 (Healy, 28.5 overs), 2-209 (Perry, 32.1), 3-216 (Mooney, 35.1), 4-216 (McGrath, 35.2), 5-256 (Litchfield, 39.6), 6-295 (Sutherland, 45.6), 7-299 (Gardner, 46.2).

INDIA BOWLING: Renuka 7-0-52-0, Pooja 10-0-68-1, Shreyanka 10-0-57-3, Mannat 3-0-30-0, Deepti 10-0-53-1, Amanjot 10-0-70-2.

INDIA INNINGS: Yastika Bhatia b Schutt 6 (14b, 1x4), Smriti Mandhana c Garth b Schutt 29 (29b, 5x4), Richa Ghosh b Wareham 19 (29b, 3x4), Harmanpreet Kaur c Mooney b Wareham 3 (10b), Jemimah Rodrigues c King b Gardner 25 (27b, 3x4), Deepti Sharma (not out) 25 (39b, 2x4), Amanjot Kaur c Litchfield b King 3 (8b), Pooja Vastrakar b King 14 (14b, 1x4), Shreyanka Patil c McGrath b Sutherland 2 (10b), Renuka Singh c Healy b Sutherland 0 (1b), Mannat Kashyap c Mooney b Wareham 8 (15b, 1x4); Extras (lb-1, w-13): 14

Total (in 32.4 overs): 148.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-32 (Yastika, 4.6), 2-43 (Smriti, 8.1), 3-57 (Harmanpreet, 11.1), 4-72 (Richa, 15.6), 5-98 (Jemimah, 20.3), 6-102 (Amanjot, 22.2), 7-128 (Pooja, 26.3), 8-135 (Shreyanka, 29.2), 9-135 (Renuka, 29.3).

AUSTRALIA BOWLING: Schutt 6-1-23-2, Garth 5-0-33-0, Wareham 6.4-0-23-3, Gardner 7-0-38-1, King 5-0-21-2, Sutherland 3-0-9-2.

Toss: Australia.

PoM & PoS: Litchfield.

Australia won by 190 runs to clinch ODI series 3-0.

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