Nitschke guides Australia to a clean sweep over Indian eves

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Melbourne, Nov 9 (UNI) Shelley Nitschke struck a 56-ball 94 to guide Australia to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over India as the hosts made a clean sweep to finish the series 5-0 in their favour at Manuka Oval in Canberra today.

After restricting India to 177 for nine, Australia never looked in any kind of trouble and the openers Alex Blackwell (65) and Nitschke added a massive 140-run first wicket stand in just 20 overs, which almost took the home team on the verge of the victory.

Blackwell's 85-ball innings which had eight boundaries in it finally came to an end through a run out but by then the match was as good as over for India.

But Nitschke, who missed the first four matches of the series because of a thigh injury, made the most of a depleted Indian bowling attack which did not figure the visitors' fastest bowler Jhulan Goswami.

Nitschke slammed 15 fours and a six on her way to her highest ODI score, off just 56 balls.

She was eventually caught by Dhar off Mithali Raj, who also struck with her next ball, trapping Lisa Sthalekar leg-before.

However, Australia had little trouble has they romped home with still 21 overs to spare.

Earlier after electing to bat first, India was immediately on the backfoot as the visitors lost five wickets for the addition of just 33 runs.

Openers Sulakshana Naik (26) and Anagha Deshpande (27) did give India a good start as they put on 54 runs for the opening wicket.

However, Nitschke castled Naik and the visitors suffered a mini collapse and the from 50 for 0, the score was read 87 for five in the 28 overs.

But Priyanka Roy (40) and Amita Sharma (23) added a 40 runs for the seventh wicket to take India past the 150-run mark.

Roy had seven fours in 85-ball knock, while Sharma's had just one. After the two were back in the hut it was all over for India and the visitors somehow managed to reach 177 for the loss of nine wickets.

For Australia, Nitschke, Emma Sampson and Delissa Kimmince took two wickets each to restrict the visitors for a modest total.

Brief scores: India: 177 for 9, Priyanka Roy 40, Nitschke 2-16, Sampson 2-31.

Australia: 178 for 3, Shelley Nitschke 94, Alex Blackwell 65, Mithali Raj 2-18.


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