Tahila McGrath guides Australia to series win

Tahila McGrath
Tahila McGrath kept her nerve to take Australia home. Photo: Twitter/ICC

Gold Coast: Indian bowlers put up a valiant effort with very few runs to defend before Tahlia McGrath won the battle of nerves at the death, guiding Australia to a four-wicket victory in the second women's T20 International and also clinch the multi-format series 9-5.

Batting first, India scored 118/9, largely due to an unbeaten 37 off 26 balls by Pooja Vastrakar.

Australia scored the runs in 19.1 overs, courtesy McGrath (42 not out off 33 balls), who launched into Shikha Pandey's 18th over, getting 14 runs which proved to be a game-changer.

Renuka Singh's inexperience also cost India dearly as the 19th over yielded 13 runs with McGrath, playing only in her second T20 International, winning it for the hosts.

"We were 20 runs short on this track," Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur said after the game.

Pandey (1/27 in 4 overs) bowled one that jagged back a long way to breach through Alyssa Healy's (4) defence and after that it was Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who controlled the middle-overs by getting rid of Meg Lanning (15), drawing the Southern Stars skipper out with a flighted one and let the ball grip enough to beat her.

Ashleigh Gardener (1) was guilty of belting a half-tracker from Harmanpreet straight into point fielder Gayakwad.

Deepti Sharma then got the dangerous Ellyse Perry (1) as Harmanpreet timed her jump to perfection at the cover, leaving Australia tottering at 46/4.

Beth Mooney (34 off 36 balls) was cautious for the better part of her innings as McGrath started smashing the bowlers. The Indian outfielding was very poor on the day.

Once Mooney was stumped off Gayakwad and Nicola Carey was also stumped off a rebound off Richa Ghosh's body, India looked to be making a comeback at 94 /6 but Pandey and Renuka couldn't bowl tight lines to prevent McGrath from taking her team to victory.

Earlier, Vastrakar gave a fine exhibition of power-hitting as her superb 36 not out off 27 balls took India to 118/9 after they were reeling at 81/9.

Vasktrakar, fondly called 'Chota Hardik' by her Test skipper Mithali Raj, has come of age as an all-rounder on this tour. She hit three fours and two sixes at the back end to ensure that India didn't embarrass themselves on a track which was good for batting.

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