Healy century helps Australia women clean sweep India

India women lost the third ODI by 97 runs after being bowled out for 235 runs, chasing Australia’s target of 333.

Alyssa Healy after reaching to her century in the third ODI against India.   -  PTI

Alyssa Healy betrayed a smile. “Yes, there was a little bit of revenge,” she said, shortly after Australia crushed India by 97 runs in the final ODI at the Reliance Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

The Aussies won the series 3-0, which also helped them regain the No. 1 ranking. So what was the revenge Healy was referring to? It was their shocking loss to India at the World Cup eight months ago in England.

Though, that wasn’t the only reason for her to smile on this warm day. The wicket-keeper opener had scored her maiden international hundred to help Australia put up its highest-ever total against India.

Key highlights: Australia thrashes India women in third ODI

It was a terrific innings too, as the niece of former Australian ‘keeper Ian Healy, hit 133 from just 115 balls (17x4, 2x6). She entertained another full house with strokes to all parts of the ground. She would, however, be grateful to the Indian fielders, in particular to Mona Meshram, who dropped her twice. And those weren’t the only catches that went begging in the Australian innings.

When you don’t take the chances offered by a strong batting line-up, you could very well end up chasing a target that has never been achieved before. That was what happened, as Australia posted 332 for seven, after winning the toss.

The visitors did that despite the first failure of the series from the left-handed opener Nicole Bolton, who began the match with an average of 185. She was brilliantly caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht.

Barely five overs later, Australia lost its second wicket, at 64, as captain Meg Lanning was taken well in the covers by her Indian counterpart Mithali Raj off Deepti Sharma, who opened the bowling with her off-spin. But, Healy found two ideal partners in Ellyse Perry and Rachel Haynes as she added 79 and 96 with them for the third and fourth wickets respectively.

Then cameos from Beth Mooney (34, 19b) and Ashleigh Gardner (35, 20b) took Australia well past 300, which also meant India would not just be chasing an mammoth target, but a world record as well.

The newly-formed opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues, however, were in no mood to go down without a fight. They gave the vociferous, holiday crowd plenty to cheer about with their sweetly timed strokes and added 101 in a little over 13 overs.

But once Rodrigues (42, 41b, 74) and Mandhana (52, 42b, 10x4) fell in successive balls to the off-spinner Gardner, it was going to be an uphill task for India, given the poor form of the other batswomen in the series. It could not even use up the 50 overs and were bowled out for 235.

Brief scores: Australia 332/7 (Alyssa Healy 133, Rachael Haynes 43; Harmanpreet Kaur 2/51) against India 235 in 44.4 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 42, Smriti Mandhana 52; Ashleigh Gardner 3/40).