Graham’s Hat-Trick; Gardner, Harris Power-Hitting Floor India In 5th T20I

Heather Graham became the second woman to take a T20 hat-trick for her country as Australia crushed India by 54 runs in their last match to take the five-match series 4-1 on Tuesday.

Graham (4/8 from 2 overs) was the star with the ball for Australia as he dismissed Devika Vaidya and Radha Yadav in the last two deliveries of the 13th over.

He then came back in the last over of the innings to claim a hat-trick with the opening ball in the form of Renuka Singh, who also claimed the coveted scalp of Deepti Sharma (53 off 34) in the last delivery.

Australian pacer Megan Schutt became the first woman from her country to claim a hat-trick in T20 cricket in 2018.

Sent in for one, Asheigh Gardner (66 not out 32) and Grace Harris (64 not out 35) hit explosive half-centuries to help Australia post a mammoth 196 for four.

The Indian bowlers cut a miserable figure after their initial success as Gardner and Harris blasted 129 not out off 62 balls to post Australia’s highest total of the series.

The demand rate was too high for India as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out for 142.

India started their big chase with a bang as vice-captain Smriti Mandhana (4) edged Darcie Brown over the square leg boundary on the first delivery of the innings.

But Mandhana’s stay was short-lived, as two balls later she poked Grace Harris at square leg, aiming to bowl the ball.

Harleen Deol suddenly came out into the attack and hit a boundary through point and gully off the first ball of the innings.

Shafali Verma (13) then got a rebound in the third over when he was dropped by Harris after the batsman mistimed the throw.

But it wasn’t Shafali’s day as Annabel Sutherland caught him off the bowling of Gardner at long-on.

Harleen Deol played a 16-ball, 24-run cameo before falling victim to a needless run out.

Things took a turn for the worse when skipper Harmanpreet Kaur departed. Coming into the attack in the ninth over, Annabel Sutherland struck gold with her first delivery, catching Harmanpreet in front of the wicket as the batsman failed to gauge the length of the delivery.

Batsman Richa Ghosh hit two boundaries at the death before Heather Graham dismissed Devika Vaidya and Radha Yadav in successive deliveries to be in contention for a three-trick, ending the match.

Earlier, Gardner followed with 11 boundaries and a six from 32 off 66 balls, while Harris made 64 off 35 balls with six fours and four hits over the fence.

Electing to bowl, India started brightly, dismissing Beth Mooney (2) and Phoebe Litchfield (11) cheaply within four overs.

From there, skipper Tahila McGrath (26 off 26) and Ellyse Perry (14 off 18) shared 38 runs for the third wicket to stabilize the innings.

When the partnership looked dangerous, Shafali Verma fooled McGrath with a delivery boot that turned enough to beat an aggressive McGrath who was stumped by Richa Ghosh.

Later, Perry went for a big shot down the ground, which was caught by Harleen Deol in a bowling action against Devika Vaidya.

From then on, it was a complete Harris and Gardner show as both the batsmen took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners.

All the Indian bowlers looked clueless as they found boundaries at will against the two Australian batsmen.

It was Harris who brought up his fifty in just 28 balls, taking a six off Renuka Singh in the 18th over, and then a ball later Gardner also reached the feat with a boundary off 25 balls.

It was raining boundaries and sixes towards the end as the Indian bowlers looked completely out of shape and their fielding did not help the hosts either.

Vaidya was the most economical for India with figures of 1/26 from his three overs.

(This story is published as part of an auto-generated syndicated feed. ABP Live has not made any edits to the headline or body.)

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