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Australia v India, T20 tri-series: Hosts stunned by seven-wicket defeat

Shafali Verma’s 49 set India on course for victory over Australia
T20 tri-series, Junction Oval, Melbourne
Australia 173-5 (20 overs): Gardner 93, Lanning 37, Sharma 2-27
India 177-3 (19.4 overs): Mandhana 55, Verma 49, Schutt 1-26
India won by seven wickets

Australia will have to beat England on Sunday to reach the T20 tri-series final after a dramatic seven-wicket defeat by India.

Smriti Mandhana made 55 while 16-year-old opening partner Shafali Verma scored 49 off 28 balls to propel India towards victory after Australia had earlier posted 173-5.

Ashleigh Gardner had top-scored for the hosts with a career-best 93.

The world champions have now lost two of their past three matches.

They lost opener Alyssa Healy for a duck after just three balls, but Gardner’s innings enabled Australia to slowly build their tally, with captain Meg Lanning adding 37 from 20 balls after Beth Mooney had been dismissed for 16.

In reply, India hit 62 runs in the first five overs – with Verma hitting Australia’s bowlers for eight fours and one six – before Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma steered them home with two deliveries remaining.

Australia face England, who they lost to earlier in the tournament, in the last pool match on Sunday (00:40 GMT).

An Australia victory would mean each team has won two and lost of their group games. However, the hosts would be guaranteed a place in the final on net run rate.

England will reach the final if they avoid defeat against Australia. If they lose, it will come down to net run rate against India.

The final takes place on 12 February.

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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