Christina Gough, Anuradha Doddaballapur sink Austria as Germany reign supreme, take 4-0 lead

Shajin Mohanan S
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Christina Gough, Anuradha Doddaballapur sink Austria as Germany reign supreme, take 4-0 lead

Anuradha Doddaballapur (L) and Christina Gough. © Twitter

Germany had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss even though conditions looked a bit overcast, unlike the sunny, hot weather they had so far in the series. Regular openers Janet Ronalds and Gough were back at the top and began from where they left in the second T20I. Andrea Mae Zepeda, who ditched her shades while bowling, tried to keep it tight, but her partner Valentina Avdylaj gave Gough a couple of full tosses to hit boundaries through the leg side to get going.

Ronalds started steadily cutting a few deliveries through backward point and third man region for doubles. She hit her first boundary in the fifth over off Jo Antoinette Stiglitz through mid-wicket and decided that’s the area she will target during the rest of the innings. Inexperienced Austria bowlers struggled with their lengths, bowling either too full or too short and the in-form openers took full toll of it preferring to hit most of the balls through the on side.

Gough looked the more aggressive among the two and looked to target the bowlers through the area between mid-wicket and wide mid-on and occasionally played a few cut shots with Austria feeding her with full tosses outside the off stump. One of those rare shots on the off-side took her to her third consecutive fifty of the series. Ronalds took a single to cover to join her partner, bringing up her fifty in 41 balls in the next over.

Austria's fielding looked haphazard and bowlers missed the length, bowling a few balls above the waist. Rezarta Avdylaj was removed from the attack for bowling two consecutive beamers in the 17th over. Meanwhile, Gough’s backlift started getting bigger and she kept dragging the deliveries even from outside off stump to find boundaries on the on-side. She hit Zepeda for another one of those boundaries to take their opening partnership over 150 second day in a row.

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The southpaw got to 94 in the 19th over with another four and then refused a couple of singles in the first two balls before bringing up her hundred with a boundary and single to join her elated partner in the list of German players with T20I centuries. That boundary also broke the partnership they set during the second T20I. A single off the last ball meant Germany couldn’t get to the 200-run mark and set Austria 199 runs to win.

The hosts' attack never looked threatening and the only time they came close to taking a wicket was when Zepeda got one to hit Ronalds’ pads, but it was sliding down leg. Other than that Gough hit a couple of free hits down the throat of Austria's fielders, as if to taunt them. They had to leave the field without taking a wicket for the third consecutive match.

Austria were never in contention to chase the target, but it seemed like the plan was to bat out the 20 overs. They lost Harjivan Bhullar early when Gough got one to come back from over the wicket to have her bowled. The home team looked to play out the dangerous Emma Bargna as she bowled her four overs on the trot. Busra UCA and Zepeda looked comfortable without taking any risk, but once UCA hit one straight to Gough off Asmita Kohli the floodgates opened.

Soon it descended into a sense of déjà vu when Doddaballapur introduced herself into the attack in the 15th over. She first got Stiglitz to hit a wide one outside the off-stump to slip and then in a series of identical dismissals got Tugce Kazanci, Anisha Nookala, and Priya Sabu to miss full and straight deliveries. Nookala’s dismissals brought Germany second hat-trick in two days and Sabu became Doddaballapur’s fourth victim in four balls to give her an astonishing four-wicket maiden.

Zepeda (25) hit three boundaries with couple of good-looking shots through the off-side as Austria managed to bat out the 20 overs to end on 61 for 9, even though she ran herself out on the last ball to sum up both sides fortunes so far in the series.

Brief scores: Germany 198/0 in 20 overs (Christina Gough 101*, Janet Ronalds 68*) beat Austria 61/9 in 20 overs (Andrea Mae Zepeda 25; Anuradha Doddaballapur 5/1) by 137 runs.