Elyse Villani and Heather Graham scores half-centuries © Getty Images

Dominant Australia A downed India A by 22 runs in the third and final T20 match at the Bill Pippen Oval in Gold Coast on Monday (December 23) to take the series 3-0. Elyse Villani and Heather Graham scored half-centuries to propel Australia A to a challenging score of 151, before Australia A’s bowlers kept a leash on India A’s batting line up, restricting them to just 129 runs.

At the start of the day India A won the toss and put the hosts in to bat. Mansi Joshi, the right-arm seamer, got her team off to a terrific start, getting the key wickets of Tahlia McGrath for a duck and Erin Burns for six runs. With their team reduced to 15 for 2 in 2.1 overs, in form Elyse Villani and Heather Graham started rebuilding the innings. Villani was the more dominant of the two and made sure Australia A ticked along at a nice clip. The pair shared a 101-run stand for the third wicket to give the hosts a solid platform. Villani meanwhile brought up her second half-century of the series – a knock in which she struck eight fours and two sixes – before she was dismissed by Anuja Patil in the 17th over.

Following her partner’s dismissal, Graham took the center stage, reaching her fifty off 47 balls. Her rapid 35-run stand alongside Phoebe Litchfield (16 not out) – playing her first match of the series – helped Australia A to a total of 151 for 3.

Joshi was India A’s best bowler, with figures of 2 for 16.

Chasing 152, India A started poorly, losing Shafali Verma in the very first over for a two-ball duck – Annabel Sutherland accounting for the wicket. The dismissals of Sushma Verma and Priya Punia followed soon enough, and the visitors were precariously placed at 22 for 3 within the power play.

Skipper Veda Krishnamurthy and Nuzhat Parween started the rebuilding act – the former taking the lead role. Krishnamurthy tonked four fours and a six on her way to 35 off just 21 balls, before Molly Strano slid one past her to completely derail India A’s chase.

After that, India A were unable to break the shackles as Australia A’s bowlers kept a check on the run-flow. Although Parween (44 not out) and Dayalan Hemalatha (24 not out)  shared an unconquered 50-run stand, they failed to take India A close to the target. The visitors eventually finished with a total of 129 for 5 – 22 runs short of their target.

Brief Scores: Australia A 151/3 in 20 overs (Elyse Villani 70, Heather Graham 51*; Mansai Joshi 2-16) beat India A 129/5 in 20 overs (Nuzhat Parween 44*, Veda Krishnamurthy 35) by 22 runs. PoM: Elyse Villani.