Sarah Edwards capitalised on a colleague’s exam and Lisa Sthalekar
continued her extraordinary form as Australia clinched the five-match
women’s one-day international cricket series at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday.

54-run victory gave the defending world champions an unassailable 3-0
lead following convincing victories in the earlier games at Hurstville
Oval and the SCG.

Australia made 6-223 after Karen Rolton won today’s toss and restricted India to 7-169 off their 50 overs.

(96 off 133) and Jodie Fields (54 off 56) swung the game in Australia’s
balance with a match-turning stand of 114 in 19 overs after the home
team had slumped to 4-96 in the 30th over.

It was her highest ODI score in 11 games, easily eclipsing her previous best of 45 not out against New Zealand two years ago.

captain Edwards didn’t play in the first two games of the series, but
got an opportunity today because schoolgirl star Ellyse Perry was
sitting a PE exam.

Perry was back at the ground in time to celebrate the series victory with her older team mates.

underlined her status as the world’s No.1 ranked all-rounder by
extending her series batting average to an incredible 188 and returned
her ODI career-best of 4-20.

Yet to be dismissed, in the series, Sthalekar followed up her earlier scores of 73 and 104 with 11 not out today.

came in further down the order with Rolton rejigging her batting
line-up because not all of her players had spent much time in the
middle in the earlier games.

Rolton (5 off 28) promoted herself to opener alongside Leah Poulton (32 off 54), but was run out in the ninth over.

The dismissals of Poulton, Lauren Ebsary (0) and Kate Blackwell (15 off 19) gave Edwards and Fields the opportunity to shine.

was out in the penultimate over of the innings and Edwards perished off
the first ball of the final over, when she skied a catch to cover.

Spinner Seem Pujare (2-46 of 10 overs) was India’s only multiple wicket taker.

In reply, India never seriously threatened to reach the biggest target of the series.

lost wickets at regular intervals, with Sthalekar strangulating the
run-rate as well as taking wickets, with none of the visitors scoring
more than 34.

The series concludes with two matches at Canberra’s Manuka Oval this weekend.