With a slog-sweep over mid-wicket for six, Ellyse Perry has levelled Australia’s T20 series with India, underscored her enduring and evolving class, and commemorated her 300th game in green-and-gold.
The 33-year-old top-scored in Australia’s six-wicket win as the tourists chased down India’s 8-130 with an over to spare.
That levelled the T20 series with a match to come on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) after India won by nine wickets in the opener.
Perry hit 32 not out off 21 balls with two sixes and three fours, her fifth-wicket stand with Phoebe Litchfield (18 off 12) bringing Australia home after an impressive display in the field had done the groundwork.
With an eye on dew affecting bowlers in the second innings at the Dr DY Patil ground in Navi Mumbai on Sunday (Monday AEDT) Alyssa Healy had put India in to bat after winning the toss.
The hosts were restricted to 8-130 off their 20 overs with only Deepti Sharma, run out off the last ball for 30, scoring more than 23 for an Indian side that was kept in check by regularly losing wickets.
Georgia Wareham and Annabel Sutherland were the pick of the tourists’ bowlers, taking two wickets apiece for 18 and 17 runs respectively off their four overs.
“It’s lovely to get the win,” said Perry, “a nice comeback for us. We got a bit of a what-for the other night.
“It was a superb bowling effort in the first innings. Kim (Garth) was sensational up front. Wickets are crucial in that power play. It was a difficult chase but a nice finish.”
Australia recalled Garth for Darcie Brown, whose wayward start in the first match had put Australia on the back foot, and the Irish-born bowler immediately justified the decision.
Shafali Verma made an unbeaten 64 on Friday, but missed a straight one to be leg before for one in the tenth ball of the innings. Garth (2-27) followed up by dismissing the dangerous Jeminah Rodrigues for 13 to leave India 2-20 after four overs.
Garth was launched for six in her third over by Smriti Mandhana but the opener was caught at deep mid-wicket by Perry off Sutherland for 23 trying to repeat the feat.
Australia continued to take key wickets at good times. Two DRS reviews by Healy brought lbw decisions for Wareham while Sutherland’s slower ball foxed Amanjot Kaur.
The only blot on the performance was Garth dropping Shreyanka Patil in the last over, denying Megan Schutt (0-29) a record 131st T20 international wicket. She remains level with Pakistan’s Nida Dar.
In reply Australia made a confident start cruising to 0-51 off seven overs and it was a surprise when Healy holed out to deep mid-on for a 21-ball 26. Opening partner Beth Mooney fell two overs later, also to Sharma, stumped for 20 off 29 balls.
Tahlia McGrath perished for 19 off 21 balls gloving a catch behind and when Gardner edged for seven India began to hope with Australia 4-99 with 34 needed of 26 balls.
Perry extinguished that hope.