Australia Women 172 for 8 (Perry 75, Harris 41, Vaidya 2-22) beat India Women 151 for 7 (Shafali 52, Harmanpreet 37, Brown 2-19, Gardner 2-21) by 21 runs
reminded the world of her class and helped give Australia a 2-1 series lead in Mumbai, with her career-best 75 off 47 balls. She unleashed her signature back-foot cuts and down-the-track lofts to counter early blows from India and drag Australia up to 172 for 8. Grace Harris
also displayed immense power during her 18-ball 41 to rattle India’s quartet of spinners and Anjali Sarvani, the left-arm seamer.
led a charmed life and provided the chase some fillip with 52 off 41 balls, but timely strikes from seamer Darcie Brown
and offspinner Ash Gardner hushed the crowd and shut India down.
Gardner had dropped Shafali on 13 at deep midwicket and by the time she grasped another pull from Shafali at the same region, the opener had added 39 to her tally. Gardner then dismissed Devika Vaidya and Richa Ghosh in the 15th over to complete her redemption arc. Brown, who had won the WBBL title with Adelaide Strikers in November
, was particularly impressive with her pace and bounce, returning 2 for 19 in her four overs.
Deepti Sharma’s late hits gave India a sliver of hope, but Nicola Carey and Megan Schutt coolly closed out the game for Australia.
After India opted to bowl at the Brabourne Stadium, both Renuka Singh Thakur and Anjali found swing with the new ball. Renuka made the first incision when she thumped Alyssa Healy’s front pad in the first over and when Anjali stormed through the defences of the newly minted No.1 T20I batter
Tahlia McGrath, Australia were 5 for 2 in the second over.
Beth Mooney (30) flickered briefly, but it was Perry who fired properly. Before Wednesday, Perry had not batted in a T20I for Australia since last October, having missed out on selection for the shortest format during last summer’s Ashes and Commonwealth games. However, Meg Lanning’s personal break and the retirement of Rachael Hayes paved the way for a T20I return. Perry’s batting was not needed in the first two T20Is, but when Australia really needed it in the third, she produced a 33-ball half-century.
Perry took regular trips down the pitch to manufacture scoring opportunities against India’s spinners. She was particularly severe on Deepti and Radha Yadav, cracking 32 off a combined 16 balls. Perry dovetailed beautifully with Harris in a 55-run fifth-wicket partnership that came off a mere 31 balls.
Harris’ knock could’ve been cut short at 10 had Shafali not let a swipe burst through her hands and over the long-on boundary in the 15th over. Harris proceeded to pepper the midwicket and long-on boundaries before she holed out in the 19th over. Perry’s wicket had also added to Australia’s late slide, which brought India back into the contest.
India fall short in chase
Three days after India’s batters overpowered Australia in a Super-Over thriller
, they stretched back to the stragglers again. India lost both Smriti Mandhana (1 off 10) and Jemimah Rodrigues (16 off 11) in the powerplay, and Shafali faced all of 11 balls for 14 runs during this phase.
Shafali, though, broke free with a slog-swept six off legspinner Alana King in the seventh over and moved to a chancy half-century. She struck up a busy 73-run third-wicket stand with Harmanpreet Kaur, but her dismissal triggered an irreparable collapse. India lost 5 for 40 as Brown and Gardner re-established Australia’s command. Perry also pitched in with an over, which cost only two runs, helping Australia seal the win she had set up.