As it happened: India women vs Australia women, 3rd ODI

Alyssa Healy scored 133 as Australia completed a clean-sweep, defeating India by 97 runs in the third and final ODI in Vadodara.

Australia has dominated India right through the series.

A 97-run victory for Australia then, thanks to a collective effort. A few individuals stood out — Alyssa Healy with the bat (133), and Ashleigh Gardner with the ball (three wickets) — but it took a some cameos from the lower order for Australia to post a daunting total and a range of bowlers other than Gardner to clean up India's batting.

That's been the difference between the sides today. A few Indians shone in the day — when Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana got going at the top of the order, it seemed India may spring a surprise — but most had a bad day at the office. Once Harmanpreet and Mithali departed, the lower order crumbled quickly.

The bowling was lacklustre, as well; all of them leaked runs.

"Enjoyed my time out there," says a beaming Healy at the post-match ceremony. She is the player of the match, for scoring a century that set the tone for Australia's win.

That's it for today; until the next occasion, it's goodbye from us.

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Overs 44.4: India 235 (TARGET 333)

It's the last barrier of one wicket left now, as the No. 11 Ekta Bisht is injured and won't be available to play. The contest is over anyway, as the batters are defending virtually every delivery.

The innings ends formally with Vastrakar attempting a ramp shot and depositing straight to the laps of short third man. Australia completes a clean sweep with yet another clinical demolition.

Overs 40: India 225 for 8 (TARGET 333)

Dots and singles. Pressure building on the batting duo. And it doesn't help when the batters aren't comfortable against the bowling. Verma seems clueless against Perry in one of the overs, getting hit on the body once, and edgily defending.

However, out of the blue she hits a six off the last ball of Jonassen's ninth over, which until that point had been a neat one. She follows it up with a purposeful cut through cover-point off Perry.

She hits two fours off Schutt, too, but perishes in the same over. She attempts a cover drive and chips it straight to Meg Lanning at cover. She goes for 30 off 35 balls.

India continues to unravell. Sharma is bowled by Perry, and then induces an edge off Shikha Pandey, the new batter, who departs for a golden duck. Poonam Yadav gets off the mark with a boundary, but it seems hardly of any significance now.

Overs 35: 196 for 5 (TARGET 333)

Deepti Sharma and Sushma Verma are collecting singles comfortably, but the required run-rate keeps climbing. The spinners — Jonassen and Gardner — are quick through their overs, and the deliveries usually loopy and slow. The batters are having to generate their own power for runs.

Overs 30: India 182 for 5 (TARGET 333)

The new batter Mona Meshram goes down the track and lofts Gardner carelessly to leg. She is caught by Carey in the deep to leave India further in trouble. The uphill task seems harder now. Meshram departs for 1.

Overs 29: India 179 for 4 (TARGET 333)

That's a big wicket. Mithali Raj is OUT! There was a bit of confusion on whether Haynes had her hands on it, diving at mid-on. But it's quite a clean catch and the Indian batter has to return. Jonassen has her first.

The run-rate has dipped a little, owing to the humdrum proceedings in the middle.

Overs 25: India 163 for 3 (TARGET 333)

Much will depend on the captain now to mount a fierce attack on Australia. Deepti punishes a wayward delivery by guiding it down fine leg for a four. In the 25th over, she skips down the track to play a beautiful straight drive past the bowler (Jess Jonassen).

Overs 23: India 149 for 3 (TARGET 333)

While she was in, Harmanpreet looked determined and confident, but she doesn't last long; in trying to play a fierce cut, she edges Nicole Carey to the wicket-keeper. Walking back, she was murmuring to herself, evidently livid with herself to waste the opportunity to help India gain its target.

Deepti Sharma in the new batter.

Overs 20: India 141 for 2 (TARGET 333)

India will be looking for a period of consolidation after a rapid start given by the openers, a platform Mithali and Harmanpreet will hope to utilise well. The two batters are looking comfortable in the middle, and are content in eking out singles and the odd boundary.

One of them was via a typical off-drive through extra cover. Have seen so many of them in the day.

Overs 15: India 103 for 2 (TARGET 333)

A bright start notwithstanding, Rodrigues' tenure at the crease comes to an end. After having entertained the crowd with some sizzling strokes, including a paddle sweep for a boundary down fine-leg, she perishes going for another aggressive stroke. She gets a top edge and is caught by Haynes. She goes for 42, off 41 deliveries.

And Mandhana is dismissed next ball! Both batters are out, after leading India past 100. Mandhana is adjudged leg-before after missing a sweep shot. She goes for 52 (off 42 balls).

Gardner has two wickets now, and India's momentum has been halted, with two new batters at the crease — the captain and the vice-captain (Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur) — and a huge target staring at them.

Overs 10: India 68 for 0 (TARGET 333)

Facing the spinner Jess Jonassen, Mandhana threads a narrow gap between cover and extra cover for a boundary, before Rodrigues plays another supreme stroke - a sweep - for another. India has raced along thus far, and it has made little difference to either batter whether it is pace or spin.

Perry is introduced into the attack. She rushes Rodrigues into a rash stroke, but cannot find the breakthrough.

Mandhana continues merrily on, striking another four through extra-cover off Schutt. In the 10th over, Perry is first lofted down the ground, and then guided through third man.

Over 5: India 36 for 0 (TARGET 333)

A debut series, and a mammoth score to chase. But opener Jemimah Rodrigues, just 17 year old, shows no nerves. Rather, she shows panache as she hits two fours through deep mid-wicket in the first over. After surviving a leg-before shout, Rodrigues sweeps a length ball, and then flicks authoritatively for another boundary.

Mandhana, the player in form, tries to make good use of the fielding restrictions. She lofts Schutt down the ground, and Gardner through extra cover. In between, the captain Meg Lanning almost pulls off an acrobatic catch, on the stretch at mid-on.

Rodrigues join in, going down on one knee and depositing Schutt to the long-on boundary, and then guiding a ball through fine-leg.

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Australia has run India ragged in the first half of the contest. But perhaps, that was to be expected given the confidence of the side and the placidness of the track.

India didn't help the matter either. There were drops and misfields, but more demoralising was the frequency of loose deliveries that allowed Healy & Co. to hit boundaries at all. There was once a phase when spinners kept a tight leash on batters, especially Perry, who scored 32 off 60 deliveries, but the floodgates opened thereafter. Cameos from Mooney and Gardner easily took Australia past the 300-mark.

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Overs 50: Australia 332 for 7

Now, Beth Mooney has taken up the mantle of toying with the bowling. She collects 20 runs off a hapless Mona Meshram, via four fours and two braces.

Mooney first hits a leg-side full toss to the mid-wicket boundary, then sweeps a delivery at leg through deep square leg, and then loft-drives it over the head of extra cover. She signs off with a strong hit straight down the ground.

Kaur bowls an accurate final over, and prevents the desired slaughter to an extent. Carey, after hitting Kaur for a four to fine leg off the penultimate balls, gets bowled off a yorker next ball.

Nonetheless, her job is done. Australia has a big total on the board. Insurmountable? Stay tuned to find out.

Overs 46: Australia 289 for 6

Gardner goes! This time she can't clear the point fielder, Poonam taking a simple catch. The batter who replaces her, Nicola Carey, begins with a late cut for a four. The tide isn't stopping.

Overs 45: Australia 279 for 5

Healy perishes to another dose of belligerence. She lofts leg-spinner Poonam Yadav towards deep mid-wicket, but this time finds the fielder - substitute Veda Krishnamurthy. She is out for 133.

Haynes perishes too, but to carelessness. She slices the ball to the point fielder in the off-side, and blindly keeps running, only to find herself in the middle of the pitch and stranded.

India gets close to dismissing new batter Ashleigh Gardner too. However, at the first instance, her cut narrowly evades the point fielder, and in the second, the wicket-keeper drops the edge. To rub salt into the wounds, Gardner finishes the over (bowled by Kaur) with a four through covers and a brace.

Pandey continues to suffer, Gardner with a slap through cover for another boundary. She looks ominous, a strong finish likely for the Australians.

Overs 40: Australia 235 for 3

Pandey's lacklustre day continues as Healy decides to punish her eighth over. She strikes her for three fours through the off-side, and to make matters worse, narrowly evades Deepti at cover off the last ball of the over.

Haynes gets couple of her own as Australia's run-rate has inched nearer to six per over.

Overs 35: Australia 188 for 3

Healy continues serenely on, finding boundaries at will. This time, she hits Deepti through the leg side; the fielder at deep mid-wicket, Mona Meshram, dives and scrambles but cannot prevent the boundary.

She reaches a well-deserved century, and finds a similarly attacking partner at the other end in Haynes, who strikes a few fours to improve the faltering run-rate.

Overs 30: Australia 153 for 3

Perhaps in order to bring about a change, Pandey is brought back into the attack, and she move immediately pays off. Perry chases a wide delivery and edges behind. She departs for 32.

Healy, though, looks supreme at the other end. She has raced to 87 off 83 deliveries. Vice-captain Rachael Haynes joins her in the middle.

Overs 25: Australia 131 for 2

Healy and Perry have settled in nicely and are looking for the loose deliveries from spinners to attack. Two of them were bowled by Vastrakar - Perry capitalised on both the opportunities. A late dab through third man and a pull through long-hop.

Overs 20: Australia 108 for 2

The wickets have compelled Australia to oversee a period of consolidation, now that the spinners have settled into their groove and many fielders are positioned in the outfield. Healy reaches her half-century with a single and celebrates it with a four through leg, and a six past the fielder at the deep.

Overs 15: Australia 74 for 2

Another display of aggression gets Australia in trouble again. Perry steps down the track to Deepti, inside edges a spinning delivery on to her pads and Sushma Verma, the wicket-keeper, spills it.

Spinners at both ends operating now; perhaps India's best chances of garnering wickets are through spinners. Australian batters rightfully show restraint. Poonam Yadav, the leg-spinner, is introduced into the attack; four runs are taken off her first over.

Overs 11: Australia 65 for 2

You live by the sword, and die by it. Lanning steps down the track to continue in her bellicose mood, but chips Deepti straight to a diving Mithali at mid-off. Australia two down now; the captain departs for 18. Ellyse Perry arrives, and gets off the mark via a cut past the point fielder that goes for a four.

Overs 10: Australia 63 for 1

The watchful start is giving way to old-fashioned belligerence. Alyssa Healy seems to be throwing caution to the wind, perhaps encouraged by the early fielding restrictions; she collects two boundaries and a six off a very expensive over from Pandey.

It starts with a gentle cover drive for four down the ground, and before long, Healy lofts a length ball straight down the ground for Australia's first six. She finishes off with a flick down leg that goes into the hands of a scrambling fielder at deep square-leg, but pops out and trickles past the boundary line.

Lanning joins the party, with an aggressive boundary through deep extra-cover, and a sweep collected off the left-arm spinner.

Overs 6: Australia 23 for 1

Bolton playfully steps down the track and chips the ball straight to the left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, who was bowling her first over. So, it won't be three in a row for Bolton - she departs for 11. The captain Meg Lanning arrives in the middle, and immediately gets going with a cover drive for a boundary.

Overs 5: Australia 18 for 0

After a watchful start against Shikha Pandey, Nicole Bolton picks up from where she left in the second ODI, sweetly driving off-spinner Deepti Sharma through extra-cover for a boundary and executing a delightful late cut for a brace.

As an immediate reaction to the drive, Mithali decided to field a short cover to check the drive. That the spinner has been introduced early, and has immediately extracted turn suggests the kind of pitch it is.

Apart from the one over from Deepti, off which eight runs were scored, the Australians have been content with a sedate start.

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Mithali Raj says she would have opted to bat, as the pitch seems hard and true.

Two changes in the Indian team - Mona Meshram and Jemimah Rodriguez have been brought in to replace Veda Krishnamurthy and Poonam Raut.

TOSS UPDATE: Australia has won the toss, and has chosen to bat.

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Two relatively one-sided matches, a series won, and redemption taken...what, then, would be the significance of the dead rubber? Welcome to the live coverage of the third and final One-Day International between India and Australia, two teams of top quality but out of which only Australia has displayed its might so far; it has conjured two comprehensive victories in the two matches it has played thus far - by eight wickets and 60 runs.

However, as India's Smriti Mandhana points out, there is the ICC Women's Championship at stake, and therefore, today's 'dead rubber' has much significance.

Perhaps it is time for India to pull up its socks, to give the generous smattering of crowd some respite, writes P. K. Ajith Kumar in the preview for today's game.