Australia vs India: Mooney and McGrath seal Multi-Format series win for Australia

Beth Mooney was at her brilliant best again on Sunday night as Australia sealed the series against India. Image: @AusWomensCricket. Twitter

Australia sealed its victory in the Multi-Format series with a comfortable 14 run win in the 3rd T20 to finish with an 11 point – 5 win over India.

It was the now familiar pairing of Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath who proved pivotal for Australia, both starring with the bat yet again at Metricon Stadium.

McGrath continued her breakout international series with 44* off 31 balls which saw her claim both player of the match and player of the series honours after her exploits all throughout the series.

After losing the toss for the first time this series, Meg Lanning’s side was sent into bat and for just the second time this series went about setting a total for India to chase down.

As Australia’s much vaunted top order failed to get going yet again, it was Beth Mooney who again proved to be the itch that India just couldn’t scratch. While the left-hander may have missed out in the Test match, her consistency throughout the white-ball games in the series has been in line with her regular performances for Australia as she notched her 8th half-century in 19th innings since the middle of last year.

Mooney finished on 61 off 43 balls propelling Australia to 5/149.

Chasing the game, India lost teenage sensation Shafali Verma early as Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues went about building a platform with a 57 run partnership before Georgia Wareham removed the classy right-hander Rodrigues.

Mandhana, as she had done all tour showed her elegance and class with the bat in hand, posting another classy half-century, scoring 52 off 49 balls. India though couldn’t find any real fluency and momentum in their innings once Mandhana holed out to the Australian skipper off the bowling of Nicola Carey.

While the 11-5 scoreline at the end of the series may look like Australia ran away with the series, it was much tighter and hard fought than the final points tally reflected according to Australian superstar Beth Mooney.

Speaking to media post-game, Mooney was complimentary of India’s ability to test Australia’s front liners and depth. But, reflecting on the final result, said it was a big statement from Australia that they were able to win comfortably despite being tested with their depth shining through.

“The scoreline probably suggests that we ran away with it towards the back end of the series but I think it was a much tighter contest than that,” she said.

“I think India was exceptional at times during that series and really tested our depth within this Australian side.

“It was great to see the depth come to the fore with those younger players debuting and T-Mac [Tahlia McGrath] obviously debuting in T20 cricket 4-5 years after her ODI debut and looking like she’d been doing it for years”.

Missing a host of big name players including Megan Schutt, Jess Jonassen, and Rachael Haynes towards the end of the series, the success of all Australian debutants across all three formats this series will pose many selection headaches for head selector Shawn Fegler and coach Matthew Mott ahead of the women’s Ashes and ODI World Cup.

“I’d hate to be a selector after this series.

“Every time someone got given an opportunity they absolutely stood up and put us in a position to win a game of cricket for Australia.

“That’s what we speak about in this team, match-winning performances, whether it’s with the bat or the ball or in the field so to see a number of people stick their hand up and do that on numerous occasions is really pleasing”

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There’s no rest of the wicked as all of the Australian team and several members of the Indian team disperse to their respective WBBL franchises with the competition set to kick off this week. But with a busy schedule coming up, Mooney said she would love to find time in the schedule to accommodate more Multi-Format series’ and more opportunities to play the longer formats of the game.

“It’s been a real thrill,” Mooney said on playing and switching formats throughout the last few weeks.

“any opportunity you get to play international cricket, you can’t take for granted especially in this day and age.

“The fact that we’ve been able to get a multi-format series over the line, against a team like India with thier skill set has been incredible.

“I think it’s just a really exciting time to be an international cricketer at the moment with these series popping up and hopefully we can see alot more of them moving forward.

Mooney hopes following the success of this Indian tour and the upcoming Ashes in January and February that there is scope to make them a permanent fixture on the summer of cricket calendar.

“I hope so.

“I think that’s the way forward for us to get a few more test matches in.

“getting different countries exposed to this series and i think what we’ll see is the best team across a long sustained period of time will be the clear winner at the end of the series and that’s what we want cricket to be.

“Certainly i think this is the way forward for us and hopefully this is the start of things to come”

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