England women 150 for 2 (Sciver 68*, Beaumont 58*) beat Australia women 149 for 8 (Haynes 65, Gunn 3-26) by eight wickets
Resuming their T20I dominance from the 2-1 victory in the multi-format Ashes, England kicked off their tri-series campaign with a thumping eight-wicket win over Australia in Mumbai. Powered by half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver and their unbroken 116-run third-wicket association, England overhauled a 150-run target with three overs to spare. It was Australia's first defeat on their tour of India.
Early in the chase, debutant Bryony Smith struggled to negotiate Jess Jonassen's left-arm spin, before Megan Schutt had her stumped in the second over. Danielle Wyatt also fell early, before Beaumont and Sciver signalled a shift by blitzing 29 runs across the fifth and sixth overs. That included four successive fours from Beaumont in the sixth, that went for 17 runs, off Schutt, who was the most economical bowler in the ODI series against India.
Sciver joined in with back-to-back sixes off Perry, and then three fours in the 10th over that narrowed down the equation to 60 required at a run a ball. Beaumont notched up her third T20I half-century, off 37 deliveries, while Sciver raised her maiden fifty in the format off 34 balls with a sweep off Jonassen.
There was no halting their dominance as Sciver clobbered three more fours en route to her 43-ball 68. In all, she struck 10 fours and two sixes. Beaumont's unbeaten 58 off 44 balls contained eight fours. Australia used seven bowlers, and Jonassen was the least expensive among them, having gone at 6.25 an over.
Australia's defeat, however, was down as much to their own over-eagerness, as their batsmen kept attempting flashy heaves and flicks despite losing wickets regularly.
Debuting left-arm medium-pacer Katie George, the first Hampshire woman to play for England, struck first. Having sent down a yorker that was dug out into the off side by Beth Mooney, George scurried across and fired a direct hit before the batsman could get back in the crease.
Alyssa Healy hauled Australia to 49 for 1, although she rode her luck, two thick edges flying through the vacant slip cordon. She raced away to 31 off 23 balls, with the help of two classy sixes. Ashleigh Gardner, promoted to No. 3, struck an aggressive 28 off 16. The loss of Healy at the start of the eighth over did not deter Gardner as she took Sciver apart for two sixes in the same over.
Sciver, however, hit back as Beaumont stumped Gardner in the last ball of the over. That reduced Australia to 66 for 3. England dropped three chances subsequently, but Australia's failure to curb their attacking instincts left Rachael Haynes without support. Haynes led the team, and not just the batting line-up, in Meg Lanning's absence as part of the plan to manage her shoulder recovery, given Australia played on Thursday too.
Villani, dropped on 3 by Jenny Gunn, could only add another couple to her tally, as Gunn made up for her lapse by sending Villani back in the 11th over. Australia then slipped to 97 for 5, when Heather Knight snaffled a brutish Ellyse Perry drive at extra cover. Haynes and Sophie Molineux then strung together a 34-run sixth-wicket stand.
Haynes struck two fours off Knight in the 16th over, and then lobbed a leading edge to Smith at point on 41 only to be reprieved by the debutant. She got her fifty in the next over, off 38 balls.
She would fall in the final over by holing out to long-on, becoming Gunn's third wicket. Haynes finished with 65 off 45 balls, her highest T20I score, but Australia still fell short of 150.