Sport

Jonassen spins it Australia’s way

Jess Jonassen.

Jess Jonassen.  

Triggers a collapse to script a memorable triumph; Smriti’s knock goes in vain for India

India opener Smriti Mandhana’s 37-ball 66 went in vain as Australia claimed the tri-nation women’s T20 series with a gritty 11-run win following a sensational five-wicket haul by spinner Jess Jonassen here on Wednesday.

Set a target of 156, India was all out for 144 after being 115 for three in the 15th over.

Seasoned left-arm spinner Jonassen was the star of the show with brilliant figures of five for 12 in four overs, making her only the third Australian bowler to return a five-for in the women’s T20 format.

“It was a really good all-round performance. Getting Smriti was the game-changer, she was whacking us all over the park,” said Australian captain Meg Lanning.

Challenging total

Opting to bat, Australia managed to post 155 for six in its stipulated 20 overs. Chasing a challenging target, Smriti was up to the task at hand and smashed 12 boundaries in her knock at the Junction Oval.

However, the opener’s dismissal in the 15th over, caught brilliantly by Nicola Carey at deep mid-wicket, turned the match in Australia’s favour as it put the brakes on India’s scoring while at the same time taking wickets.

The final nail

It was the departure of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, in the 16th over, which dashed India’s hopes of a victory.

“In the last three overs, we couldn’t take the pressure and ended up losing wickets,” said Harmanpreet, reflecting on the loss.

Earlier in the day, India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad leaked 19 runs in the last over to let Australia off the hook and post a challenging total.

Opener Beth Mooney, who scored 208 runs in the tournament, was adjudged Player-of-the-Series, top-scored for the host with an aggressive 71 off 54 balls, hitting nine boundaries at the Junction Oval.

At the end of the 19th over, Australia was 136 for five.

However, Mooney and Rachael Haynes (18 off 7 balls) hit out in the last six balls to prop up Australia, ruining left-arm spinner Rajeshwari’s day.

Opting to bat, Australia was dealt an early blow when Alyssa Healy (4) was dismissed in the very first over by Deepti Sharma, extending the wicketkeeper’s woeful run with the bat.

Ally

Mooney found an ally in Ashleigh Gardner (26), with whom the opener added 52 for the second wicket, and then Lanning, who also made 26 during a 51-run third-wicket stand.

Mooney was lucky as Rajeshwari dropped a skier at short third-man early on in her innings.

Deepti, who opened the bowling, finished with impressive figures of 2/30 in her four-over spell, while Gayakwad had two for 32.

India’s 16-year-old Richa Ghosh made her first appearance for India, scoring 17 off 23 balls.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:09:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/jonassen-spins-it-australias-way/article30803329.ece

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