Megan Schutt hat-trick headlines comfortable Australian win

Australia women beat India women by 36 runs courtesy an all-round showing.

Mithali Raj was bowled by Megan Schutt on the last ball of the second over; she completed her hat-trick at the start of fifth over.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Outplayed by England in the previous league match, Australia returned to winning ways by scoring a second win against India in the T20 Tri-series at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday.  Medium pacer Megan Schutt took a hat-trick in two overs — (1.5) Smriti Mandhana, (1.6), Mithali Raj and (4.1) Deepti Sharma — to set the home team back by a long way. Set a target of 187, India lost by 36 runs and is out of the running to reach the tri-series final.

As it happened

Told by team by coach Tushar Arothe during the innings break that she will open the innings, Jemimah Rodrigues scored her maiden half century for the women in blue. It was not a flawless knock. She hit the ball twice in the air that even the tall Australian fielders were not able to catch at mid off and wide of mid- on, but  the 17-year-old showed nerves of steel, a great deal of technique and cricketing sense to make a 41-ball 50 with eight hits to the fence.

Eventually Jemimah lofted the ball to Megan off Delissa Kimmince in the middle of the 13th over after putting on 54 for the fourth wicket with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, but at no time did India give the impression of pressing hard in pursuit of a stiff target. Harmanpreet hit a six and four off off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner, but with the required run rate climbing to 12 plus an over, she fell in the 14th over.

After the exit of Jemimia and Harmanpreet, Anuja Patil and Pooja Vastrakar played out 37 balls without taking much risk and added 53 for the unbeaten sixth wicket, some 36 runs short of the target.

India chose to field first and made a couple of early breakthroughs. But Australia’s Beth Mooney (71, 41 balls, 8x4) and Elyse Villani (61, 42 balls, 10x4) put on 114 for the third wicket off 70 balls. Faced with a target of 187, Harmanpreet changed the batting order, shifting Mithali to No. 3. Both Smriti and Mithali, out first ball, dragged the ball onto their stumps. Their dismissal baulked the home team straight away.

Tuesday will be a rest day.

The scores: Australia 186 for 5 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 71, Elyse Villani 61, and Pooja Vastrakar two for 28) beat India 150 for 5 in 20 overs (Jemima Rodrigues 50, Harmanpreet Kaur 33 not out, Anuja Patil 38 not out, Megan Schutt three for 31).

 

Hat-tricks in women’s Twenty20: Marizanne Kapp four for 6 (South Africa v Bangladesh, Potchefstroom, September 2013), Natalie Sciver four for 21 (England v New Zealand,  Bridgetown, October 2013), Sana Mir four for 14 (Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Sharjah, January 2015), Anna Peterson three for 2 (New Zealand v Australia, Geelong, February 2017), Megan Schutt three for 31 (Australia v India, CCI, Mumbai, March 2018)