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Alyssa Healy guides Aus to tense T20 win

Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy guided her side to a dramatic Twenty20 series win over the West Indies on Friday at the MCG, where the hosts snuck home with a ball to spare.

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The Southern Stars took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-game T20 series, Healy scoring 25no off 12 balls in the four-wicket victory.

Healy brought up the winning runs with a single, a dropped catch from diving Deandra Dottin at mid on proving a suitably tense finish to a tight contest.

“I thought I’d hit it well enough to just get over the field, but as it started dropping I started to worry,” the 24-year-old said.

“Fortunately it just popped out … I think we were still in with a shot if I was out.”

The visitors excelled with the bat, opener Stafanie Taylor scoring 78 runs off 58 balls to set Australia a challenging target of 150.

The West Indies’ 6-149 represented the sixth-highest total scored against Australia in women’s T20 cricket, suggesting captain Merissa Aguilleira’s decision to bat first was sound.

It certainly looked that way when Australia required 39 runs from 22 deliveries, Ellyse Perry having just fallen for four when Shakera Selman clutched her second outstanding catch.

But Healy was up to the task, belting two fours and a six in a composed 30-run stand with Erin Osborne (eight not out).

“We just needed boundaries,” Healy said.

“In the last over we were just trying to get off strike.

“She was brilliant to bat with today, I think she calmed me down a little bit.”

Captain Meg Lanning’s knock of 51 off 35 balls laid the perfect platform for the home side.

But Shanel Daley rattled Lanning’s middle stump in the 14th over, triggering a major collapse as Australia went from 2-104 to 6-120.

Earlier, Taylor made the most of a life she was offered on 28 in a freewheeling innings that featured a six and 11 fours.

“She’s one of the most consistently destructive batters in the women’s game. She definitely showed that today,” Healy said.

The two sides play a dead rubber on Sunday at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

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