Australia’s trophy-laden women’s cricket team do not need luck to be successful, so when fortune favours them victory is all but inevitable.
So it proved in the decisive third and final Twenty20 international against India, the tourists making light of a testing target to secure the series.
Set 148 to win Australia chased down the target with seven wickets and eight balls to spare, Alyssa Healy leading the way with a 38-ball 55 while Beth Mooney anchored the innings with an unbeaten 45-ball 52.
There were smart cameos from Tahlia McGrath (20 off 15) and Phoebe Litchfield (17 not out off 13), and fine bowling by Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham when India made 6-147.
But, to underline the capricious nature of sport, Ellyse Perry, who marked her 300th appearance for Australia by hitting the winning runs with a six in the second match, was out for a golden duck.
Deserved though it was, Australia’s win was not without luck, the first stroke of which was winning the toss, which Healy did after calling heads, rather than her usual tails.
The team batting second had won 12 of the previous 15 women’s games at the Navi Mumbai venue, including both earlier matches in the series.
The second slice of fortune arrived with Australia easing towards the target at 0-60 in the seventh over.
Healy, on 38, slashed Pooja Vastrakar to point where Jemimah Rodrigues took what appeared a brilliant low catch. Healy took her helmet off and headed for the sheds.
Then the umpires asked for a TV review to see if the catch was clean. After nearly three minutes of inconclusive, blurred replays the TV umpire decided there was insufficient evidence to give Healy out.
The fight visibly drained from the Indian team and the large crowd of 43,523 fell quiet. Healy put her helmet back on and, seven balls later, had reached her 16th 50 in her 150th T20I.
Healy was out soon after, leg before, but another 25 runs had been added in quick time. With 63 needed from 60 balls with nine wickets in hand, Australia were cruising.
“When you are chasing a total like that, the quicker you get it down to a run-a-ball it’s better,” said Healy.
“It gives the team an opportunity to get the chase done and if there are wickets falling in the middle it makes it easier for those coming on. That’s my job, to get us off to a good start and get the run-rate down.”
Earlier Sutherland, the most expensive player in the auction for the forthcoming WIPL at A$364,000, will have pleased Delhi Capitals fans in the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy ground as she took 2-12 in four miserly overs.
Wareham took 2-24 in her four overs but Australia’s other bowlers were unusually expensive. For Megan Schutt (1-36) there was consolation in that her wicket, with a well-disguised slower ball to Shafali Verma, made her the highest wicket-taker in women’s T20s with 131.
“The last two games have been clinical. I’m happy with that. I’m really proud of our group,” said Healy.