In the end, it was a partnership between a now well-known pairing that again proved crucial to Australia.
On the final night of this three-week three-format cricketing roadshow, the hosts’ two most consistent hits – Beth Mooney (61) and Tahlia McGrath (44no) – served their side, which was ultimately a relatively pleasant victory over India , which dropped to a goal of 150 with 14 runs.
By taking the last two T20Is, Australia claimed the six-point series (11-5), though in truth with India dominating in both the draw test match and the washed-out first T20I (across which teams earned three points each), the gap between the two sides was closer than the margin suggests.
After four of Australia’s very famous top five managed to contribute with just 27 runs between them, Mooney once again proved the thorn in India’s side after Meg Lanning finally lost a throw and the visitors chose to bowl first.
The left-hander missed in the Test match, but has been superb against the white ball, and her ultra-consistency in the T20 format continued this evening with her eighth half-century from 19 innings since the beginning of last year; through the same period, the rest of Australia’s batsmen have gathered to seven.
With a few steps forward to India’s pace bowlers to create her own length, Mooney hit consecutive fours through points and then cover to really get her innings going.
Her crucial 44-run partnership with McGrath gained momentum in the 15th over, bowled by Renuka Singh as the opener reached her fifties with a delightful cover drive for four and then, as a mirror image three balls later, the right-hander released her own version of the shot, which is fast becoming her trademark.
Mooney then picked up one of the party tricks she has worked smartly into her game, and turned fine to hit what had been a short third as the ball ran away for another four.
Despite playing and missing four balls in the next over, McGrath still managed to get a few boundaries away, midway through and then through points to keep the Australian momentum going.
After brilliantly leading the 18th ball’s first ball between long-on and deep midwicket to four, Mooney blinked at a drive from the next and was very well caught by Kaur who appeared to snatch the hot chance just above the ground.
For the second game in a row, McGrath and Georgia Wareham (No. 13) finished innings in style and guided Australia to 5-149 on a course that again seemed to play a few tricks.
Lanning had anticipated a rotation of her fast-bowling attacks throughout the series, but the only staff change across the three matches was Annabel Sutherland’s inclusion tonight for Hannah Darlington.
That meant Tayla Vlaeminck reloaded from the north end of the earth, and despite going without a wicket, the Victorian tearaway produced her finest-and-fastest-to-over burst in this series, which at one point topped 125 km / h and worried Smriti Mandhana in treat.
Mandhana survived that fight and then began to get better with Vlaeminck, the elegant left-hander soon releasing his full range of fighting games — especially the drag and deck drive — to power the Indians.
But despite Jemimah Rodrigues (23) getting started again and another promising start from Kaur (13), it became a lone hand for the opening bat, who by reaching 50 passed 350 runs for the series and became the only player to raise his bat in all three legs of this turn.
After Wareham narrowed the big wicket of Rodrigues, the tone changed when Nicola Carey had Mandhana (52) well captured by Lanning, the Australian captain then caught Kaur from Sutherland for all but the competition.
Interestingly, Ellyse Perry’s bowling was not exploited at all by Lanning, who rotated through just six bowlers – the fewest she has selected for all series – but despite some impressively late blows by the Hurricanes, signing Richa Ghosh (23rd), who clubbed 16 races from last three deliveries, it was Australia’s night, T20 world champions proved too strong in the format and ultimately across the series.
Australia XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Georgia Wareham, Nicola Carey, Annabel Sutherland, Sophie Molineux, Tayla Vlaeminck
India XIShafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh
CommBank Series v India
Australia defeats India 11-5 on points
Australian squad: Meg Lanning (c), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck , Georgia Wareham
If T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghhat (wy) , Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh.
First ODI: Australia won by nine wickets
Second ODI: Australia won by five wickets
Third ODI: India won by two wickets
One-time test: Match drawn
Oct 7: No result
October 9: Australia won by four wickets
October 10: Australia won by 14 races