Elysse Perry hadn’t batted in a T20I for a year and two months. The noisy crowd that turned up to watch her taking apart an improved Indian bowling attack at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday night may have wondered why.
The all-rounder smashed a 47-ball 75 (9×4, 3×6) to help Australia beat India in the third T20I. The visitors avenged their rare loss, at Navi Mumbai three days ago, and moved into a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Perry’s magnificent knock and a quick-fire 41 (18b, 4×4, 3×6) from Grace Harris took Australia to 172 for eight. In reply, India finished at 151 for seven, losing by 21 runs.
Opener Shafali Verma (52, 41b, 6×4, 3×6) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (37, 27b, 6×4) had kept India in the hunt, with their 73-run stand for the fourth wicket, but the target seemed too big for those came after them. It was a fine bowling effort by Australia, spearheaded by the pacy Darcie Brown.
Earlier, Australia had got off to a poor start, for the first time in the series. Skipper Alyssa Healy was trapped lbw by Renuka Singh with a ball that came sharply in.
Then Anjali Sarvani, in only her third game for India, took her maiden wicket, a valuable one at that, of Tahlia McGrath, who only this week moved to the No. 1 ranking in the ICC’s T20 ranking for batters. The impressive left-arm seamer got one to move in through the gate to dismiss McGrath for the first time in this series.
However, the woman she swapped her ICC ranking with, Beth Mooney, continued to carry on from where she left off at Navi Mumbai, about an hour’s drive from here. Mooney (30, 22b, 4×4) was joined in the middle by Perry and added 64 for the third wicket.
Then the Harris blitzkrieg took Australia towards a total that would prove defendable by its quality attack.