Vadodara, March 18: Indian women suffered their most embarrassing series defeats in recent times as Australia completed a 3-0 rout with a comprehensive 97-run drubbing of the hosts in the three-match ODI series.
Wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy smashed her way to a brilliant 133 off 115 balls with the Southern Stars piling up a massive 332 for 7. In reply, India started off well riding on Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 41 balls) and Smriti Mandhana (52 off 42 balls)'s 101-run opening stand but their fight fizzled out as they were all out for 235 in 44.4 overs.
Healy's maiden ODI hundred ensured that Australia's margin of victory only got bigger as India's campaign turned from bad to worse. The humiliating series defeat comes right after the BCCI announced hefty central contracts, making Mithali Raj and Co richest players in their sport.
The World Cup semi-final victory last year looks like a distant memory and Australians have exacted a revenge beating the 'Women In Blue' in their own backyard. With Punam Raut correctly dropped from the playing XI after her painful knock, Mandhana and Rodrigues did try their bit hitting 17 boundaries between themselves in the first 13 overs but Gardner struck twice in as many balls to decisively turn the match in Australia's favour.
Skipper Mithali Raj (21 off 38 balls) and her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur (25 off 26 balls) added 46 runs for the third wicket but the target was well beyond their reach. Kaur hit four boundaries before edging one off seamer Nicola Carey to Healy behind the stumps. Deepti Sharma (36) and Sushma Verma (30) started off steadily but failed to finish the match as they hosts were all out for 235 in 44.4 overs.
Spinner Gardner took three wickets while pacers Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt claimed two wickets each.
Earlier, after opting to bat, Australia lost their opener Nicole Bolton (11) after she was dismissed by left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht in the sixth over.
However, Healy anchored the innings by playing a match winning knock of 133 runs which was peppered with 17 boundaries and two sixes. Healy was assisted by vice-captain Haynes, who hit four boundaries, before the former fell to leg-spinner Poonam Yadav in the 41st over.
Beth Mooney (34) and Gradner (35) also played key knocks to help set a 300 plus target.
Brief Scores: Australia 332/7 (Alyssa Healy 133 off 115 balls, Harmanpreet Kaur 2/51 in 5.3 overs). India 235 in 44.4 overs (Smriti Mandhana 52, Jemimah Rodrigues 42, Ashleigh Gardner 3/39). Australia won by 97 runs.