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Ashleigh Gardner shines again as Australian Women's team defeat India by 54 runs to clinch T20I series 4-1

Australian Women's team dominated the Indian women's side in the fifth T20I, as Ashleigh Gardner put in an all-round performance.

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Ashleigh Gardner proved to be the thorn for India Women's team once again as Australia Women defeated the hosts by 54 runs at Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday to clinch the T20I series 4-1. Harmanpreet Kaur's side were completely outplayed by the all-conquering Australian side. 

Gardner smashed an unbeaten 66-run knock, followed by a brilliant spell which saw her register figures of 2/20 to trouble the Women in Blue all evening. She also stitched together an unbeaten 129-run partnership with Grace Harris, helping Australia score 196-4, their highest total of the series.

Earlier, Harmanpreet had won the toss and chosen to bat first, the hosts had managed to reduce the visiting team to 84/4, but a game-changing partnership between Gardner and Grace took the match away from India. 

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The Australian pair's 5th-wicket partnership helped them to a massive total, and afterwards, Heather Graham bagged a hattrick spread across two overs, registering figures of 4/8, which further compounded the hosts' miseries. 

Playing in her third T20I, Graham's fiery spell helped bowl out Harmanpreet and Co for 142 runs, thus sealing a memorable T20I series win. The 26-year-old became the second Australian woman to take a T20I hat trick. The first, Megan Schutt, achieved the feat at the same venue in 2018.

Deepti Sharma gave the strong crowd something to cheer about late with an unbeaten 34-ball 53, but India finished well adrift of their target of 198. 

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With this, Australia closed their book in 2022 which saw them win both the one-day World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold, alongside bilateral series against England and India, and a tri-series against Ireland and Pakistan.

With inputs from IANS

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