A Megan Schutt hat-trick, the first by an Australian woman in ODIs helped Australia to victory in the third and final women’s ODI against West Indies in Antigua on Wednesday. In the process, Australia have completed a 3-0 clean sweep in the series and taken their recent form to 15 matches undefeated, while also winning a fifth straight series.
Losing the toss and being put in to field first, Meg Lanning’s Australia made the most of the conditions and got off to the perfect start with Ellyse Perry striking after just four balls to dismiss Reniece Boyce. With the wicket, Perry became the second Australian woman to take 150 ODI wickets.
Kyshona Knight and Britney Cooper took their time in the middle, and brought up just 18 runs from the first ten overs. The breakthrough came in the 17th over from Georgia Wareham as Cooper was dismissed, and spin came to Australia’s rescue once again when Jess Jonassen bowled Knight for a 72-ball 40, just as the third wicket partnership between her and captain Stefanie Taylor began to frustrate Australia.
The rest of the West Indies innings was largely slow and laboured thanks to accurate bowling by the Australians. Captain Taylor too was dismissed for 23 runs off 50 deliveries, and West Indies kept losing regular wickets.
Just as West Indies were looking to cross the 200 barrier, Megan Schutt who had toiled without much luck in the innings got her reward. First, all-rounder Henry was bowled with a slower delivery. Second, Karishma Ramharack was caught by Perry on the boundary while trying to hit out. And third, Afy Fletcher was deceived by a slower ball once again as the ball clipped the top of her off-stump.
With the hat-trick, Schutt also became the first woman cricketer to have two international hat-tricks to her name.
In contrast to the West Indies innings, Australia’s chase of 181 was completed with minimum fuss. A 27-ball half-century from captain Healy immediately put them on track, and she then added 11 runs more, finishing on 61 from 32 deliveries. Even though Rachel Haynes was dismissed for 19, Australia ensured they didn’t lose any more wickets en-route to a successful chase
Meg Lanning’s tactful 58*, and Ellyse Perry’s 32* saw Australia to victory in the 32nd over with eight wickets in hand. The squads will now travel to Barbados where the first of three T20Is will be played on September 14.