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Perry, Bolton and Mooney dismantle India

Australia women 287 for 9 (Bolton 84, Perry 70, Mooney 56, Pandey 3-61) beat India women 227 (Mandhana 67, Jonassen 3-51, Wellington 2-20, Perry 2-41) by 60 runs.
Scorecard

Ellyse Perry paired half-century with a haul of 2 for 41 to clinch the three-match ODI series against India in Baroda. She was by no means the only star performer though. Opener Nicole Bolton slammed 84 off 88 balls and finisher Beth Mooney cruised to 56 off 40 to set up a total of 287. Then Australia's spinners Jess Jonaessen and Amanda-Jade Wellington harnessed all the available scoreboard pressure, picking up five wickets in their combined 14 overs, to seal victory by 60 runs.

Bolton assumed total control of Australia's innings, following up her unbeaten 101 in the curtain-raiser on Monday. That she was a bit lucky get to the half-century mark, or even cross 18, 22 or 41.

Her first two reprieves occurred in what was arguably the most eventful over of the series so far, delivered by offspinner Deepti Sharma. The left-handed Bolton first chipped a ball just past a diving Mithali Raj at short cover. Then she came down the track struck the ball beautifully over mid-on. Another charge down the pitch led to a mis-hit, but Smriti Mandhana back-pedalling unhurriedly failed to convert the chance. Bolton was a third-time lucky when she slog-swept a loopy delivery from legspinner Poonam Yadav straight to Pooja Vastrakar at midwicket, who mistimed her jump and ended up parrying it over her head.

On 143 for 2, Australia lost two of their batsmen in the space of five balls for the addition of one run. Ekta Bisht, who replaced fellow left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, pinged Bolton on the back pad as she tried to sweep, while vice-captain Rachael Haynes lost the top of her middle stump playing the same shot against part-time offspinner Harmanpreet Kaur.

But Perry strode in and the visitors regained their stability. She struck her 25th ODI fifty - a run-a-ball 70 - and her partnership with Beth Mooney produced 96 runs at 6.85 per over.

Having walked to the crease in the 27th over, Perry took 40 balls to knock off her first 25 runs. She received a lifeline on 37, with an airborne Bisht managing to get only the fingertips of her left hand to a return catch, and pressed on with an innings studded with six fours and two sixes.

Mooney raced to her sixth half-century in ODIs, although she could have been dismissed for only 37. The left-hander outside-edged a Poonam googly from around the wicket and was deftly caught by wicketkeeper Sushma Verma, but a persistent appeal from the Indians was turned down by umpire Anil Dandekar. Replays subsequently confirmed a big deflection. Capitalising on the reprieve, Mooney brought up her fifty off 37 deliveries.

Australia stole 84 off the last ten overs and 43 off the final five thanks to the enterprise of Perry, Mooney and Sydney Thunder allrounder Nicola Carey. India claimed three wickets in the last two overs but by then the damage had been done.

India's chase began in odd fashion. At one end, Mandhana brought forth some vintage shots, off both front and back foot, but at the other, Punam Raut struggled to get the ball off the square. She was dropped on 1 off 13 by Ashleigh Gardner off Megan Schutt but was eventually dismissed for 27 off 61.

En route to her eight ODI fifty, Mandhana short-arm pulled Perry, and lofted Gardner over the covers. Those were only two of the eight boundaries she struck off their bowling. She belted fours off Carey and Jonassen to take India to 88 for 0 in the face of the ever escalating required rate.

In all, Mandhana struck 12 fours and a six and each of them took the wind out of Australia's sails. The only bowler who came away with any kind of credit was medium-pacer Schutt, whose 10-3-14-1 was testament to three remarkable spells of variation and control. However, for all of her earlier displays of deft timing, Mandhana mis-hit a half-hearted sweep off a Jonassen full toss and fell for a 53-ball 67.

Deepti was promoted to No. 3 but she couldn't up the scoring rate either. So Raj, who missed the first ODI with fever, came out swinging. She struck three fours in 11 balls but was caught behind off Perry for 15.

India were left needing 143 required off 20 overs with Harmanpreet at the crease. She managed a couple of boundaries in her 26-ball stay at the crease but then top-edged a slog sweep to give a simple catch to wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.

India's middle order slump continued and at 170 for 7, their chances of victory had all but been extinguished.

As the asking rate hovered around 12, the No. 9 batsman Vastrakar unleashed a slog-sweep off the third ball of the 40th over, dispatching Jonassen over the deep midwicket fence and leaving the manual scoreboard in disarray. The over cost 11 runs and India went to the final 10 needing 101 with three wickets in hand. Australia took them with four balls to spare. Carey claimed her maiden ODI wicket in a seven-over spell that cost 44 runs. Perry made the match-winning strike.