Australia 209 for 4 (Lanning 88*, Villani 51, Gunn 2-38) beat England 152 for 9 (Sciver 50, Wyatt 34, Schutt 3-14, Gardner 2-20) by 57 runs
The highest women’s T20I total – 209 for 4, most fours in a T20I innings in men’s or women’s cricket – 32, and the joint second-highest fourth-wicket stand in women’s T20Is, of 139, underpinned Australia’s first T20 series win since August 2015, as they routed England by 57 runs in the tri-series final in Mumbai. The victory capped Australia’s double series triumph on this tour, having consigned India to a 3-0 clean sweep in Vadodara.
Presiding over the carnage was Australia captain Meg Lanning, who smashed an unbeaten 45-ball 88 – her fourth straight unbeaten knock – at her highest personal T20I strike-rate of 195.5. A tally of 16 fours and a six steered her blitzkrieg and anchored the century stand with Elyse Villani, whose menacing 30-ball 51 contributed to a frenetic period of dual offensive that lasted 72 balls and 49 minutes at the Brabourne Stadium.
Putting England under the pump in the absence of captain Heather Knight, who missed out to a low-grade hamstring strain, Lanning and Villani offset stand-in captain Danielle Hazelle plans with 24 combined fours, 18 of which were hammered in a space of 36 balls, from the 11th to 16th over.
That the duo had to shoulder the repair work from 66 for 3 in the eighth over was down to an erroneous umpiring call that had Beth Mooney adjudged lbw on the fourth ball off the innings, coupled with Jenny Gunn’s double-strike that accounted for Ashleigh Gardner and Alyssa Healy.
By then, however, Healy and Gardner’s 61-run stand, at nearly 10 an over, had injected sloppiness aplenty among the England fielders. Even their fifty stand came via a misfield by Bryony Smith at extra cover that went for a four.
Having amassed 80 for 3 in 10 overs, the introduction of medium-pacer Alice Davidson-Richards opened the floodgates for Australia. Lanning clobbered her for four fours in the 12th over, each of which bore her trademark precision of placement on either side of the pitch. Her open-faced dab, short-arm jab, half-sweep pull, or the scoop-up paddle tore the field apart.
Villani’s run-out by Gunn in the last over of the innings made little difference to where the carnage would end up as Lanning lofted a single off Gunn to go past the previous highest T20I score of 205 for 1 by South Africa. Another three runs off the last two balls hoisted them to 209 for 4.
England’s chase began in as horrid a manner as their performance had been with the ball. Danielle Wyatt’s swat to mid-off and her call to decide against a quick run saw Bryony Smith slip halfway down the pitch. Amanda-Jade Wellington’s throw had her short of ground for a diamond duck.
Even though Wyatt muscled the third four in the 14-run over, Tammy Beaumont snicked Ellyse Perry for a first-ball duck the next over. With England reduced to 14 for 2 seven balls into the chase, Wyatt carted four more fours en route to her 17-ball 34, including a classy inside-out cover drive off a Perry front-foot no-ball that led to a pull to deep midwicket for a second successive four. In her bid to sustain the slew off boundaries she struck off Delissa Kimmince in fifth over, Wyatt perished to a lofted shot that was grabbed by Lanning at extra cover.
Finishing on 75 for 3 at the halfway mark, the asking rate of 13.5 off the last ten overs saw Natalie Sciver respond with a 51-run fourth-wicket stand with Amy Jones. England, however, slipped to 98 for 4 in the 13th over as Jones top-edged Gardner to Villani at short fine leg for 30.
As the asking rate shot up to 19 an over, Sciver’s second T20I fifty, off 41 balls, took England towards 150. But the resistance lasted only one more ball as Gardner snaffled a return catch in the 17th over.
The reintroduction of Megan Schutt for her second spell earned her three wickets for 14 runs. It took her tally to nine, the most in the series, and handed her the distinction of Player of the Series.