Mumbai, March 22: Australian eves strolled to a comfortable six-wicket win over India in the opening encounter of the T20 tri-series at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday (March 22).
Batting first, India made a rollicking start through Smriti Mandhana who made 67 off 41 balls as India surged past 100 in about 13 overs. But the hosts could not sustain the momentum after Mandhana's departure and ended up with a par for the course 152 for five in 20 overs. Australia did not sweat much for the win which they achieved with more than two overs to spare.
India made to a handy total courtesy a fine cameo by Anuja Patil towards the end - a 21-ball 35 and on one occasion Anuja smashed three fours in a row as India raised the vision of a bigger total.
However, Australian bowlers found a way to pluck wicket at such crucial junctures and peg back India.
Jhulan Goswami, who made a return to the Indian ranks after an injury-enforced absence, gave India a sound start, castling opener Alyssa Healy in the very first over itself.
The veteran pacer further accounted for Ashleigh Gardner and Beth Mooney (45, 32b, 8x4) en route to completing a three-wicket haul in her first match after returning from a knee injury.
After reducing Australia to 29 for two, India might have envisaged a fightback but a third-wicket stand between Mooney and Elyse Villani (39, 33, 4x4) that yielded 79 runs from little over 10 overs set the Southern Stars right on course for a smooth victory.
Meg Lanning (35, 25b, 4x4, 1x6) and Rachael Haynes completed the formalities for Australia.
Brief Scores: India: 152/5 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 67 off 41 balls, Anuja Patil 35 off 21 balls) lt to Australia: 156/4 in 18.1 overs (Beth Mooney 45 off 32 balls, Meg Lanning 35 off 25 balls, Elyse Villani 39 off 33 balls) by 6 wickets.