Mumbai: Australia beat the Indian eves 3-1 in the third and final match in the Women’s Hockey Test Series enabling the Aussies win the series 2-1.
The first quarter of the series decider at Melbourne, saw Nikki
Pradhan, Deep Grace Ekka and goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu keeping the Aussie frontline at bay and proceeding to the second quarter with a 0-0. Stepping at the 17th minute, Rani and Deepika’s amalgamated efforts along with Vandana Katariya goal, set India at the score line pedestal with a 1-0.
Deepika did a great job yet again, as she dissuaded Kalindi Commerford to score the first Australian goal. An on-field collision sat captain Vandana out for the remainder of the game. Penalty corners weren’t efficiently used by the Australia team and India mairained her lead into the half time.
India too couldn’t convert its four successive PCs as the defence was busy blocking the host frontline. Etimarpu did well to block a stroke from Commerford, retaining the lead. Australia pulled up its socks and with two PCs, Brooke Peris’ 39th minute goal opened the score board for the team. It now read, 1-1.
Two more PCs were earned by the hosts, and Gabi Nance successfully converted one in the 41st minute to give Australia a 2-1 lead going into the final quarter. Australia smacked its lips with the taste of victory and barged forward. India did its best to deflect the efforts of the frontline, with Kathryn Slattery and Murphy Allendorf looking to increase the lead.
Sunita Lakra and Deep Grace Ekka rose to the occasion, not being threatened by the host’s adrenaline rush and defended its score line till the last minute. Jordyn Holzberger soon overpowered the determination of the visiting team, scoring the third goal at the final hour.
India’s Deepika was adjudged the Player of the Tournament for her performance in the series.