Tahlia McGrath holds Indian bowlers at bay as hosts win 2nd T20I and win multi-format series


The Australian hitters were brave enough 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 game to lose. Australia won the ODI series 2-1, drew in the test and now this victory in the second T20I has earned them the series.

Tahlia McGrath was the architect of this victory for Australia as she scored an unbeaten 42, opener Beth Mooney also played a valuable 34 inning for the home side. For India, Rajeshwari Gayakwad scalped three wickets while Shikha Pandey, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma returned with one wicket each.

Earlier staged, a brilliant cameo by Pooja Vastrakar masked a rather disappointing sight from India. After Tayla Vlaeminck knocked out the top two in the first three overs, the Australians rioted. It was an Indian round characterized by a poor selection of shots and a calamitous race between the wickets. But Vastrakar’s cameo (best score with 37 * out of 26) certainly kept them in the competition.

Chasing 119 to seal victory in the multi-format series, Australia received a heavy blow in the first round when a sensational ball from Shikha Pandey beat Alyssa Healy in swing and seam moves. Healy came back to 4 of 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 power play wickets. Australia’s score was 33/1 after the first six overs.

In the next leg, Meg Lanning was knocked out by Pooja Vastrakar after the Australian captain beat Richa Ghosh. Lanning returned after scoring 15 of 20 balls. Wickets continued to fall in love with the home side, as India captain Harmanpreet Kaur struck in the 8th and fired Ashleigh Gardner for 1. Things turned from bad to worse for Australia when their all-round star Ellyse Perry returned to the locker room in the 10th finished, after Deepti Sharma struck for the visitors.

At the halfway point of the heats, Australia’s score was 53/4. Tahlia McGrath then joined Beth Mooney on the pitch and the pair began to rebuild for the home side. However, Rajeshwari Gayakwad broke the partnership in the 14th after removing the dangerous Mooney. The Australian opener returned after scoring 34 of 36 balls.

Gayakwad struck again in the 17th by knocking out Nicola Carey. As the game looked to go on the wire, Tahlia McGrath and Georgia Wareham took no chances as the pair amassed 11 points in the 18th and followed it by 13 points in the next six balls, which almost went sealed victory for Australia.

In the final round, McGrath took a run and won the multi-format series for Australia.

Brief Notes: 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).

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