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Gardner secures Player of the Series in Aussie’s whitewash win

Callan Morse -

Ash Gardner has been awarded Player of the Series after a strong performance with the ball in Australia’s third consecutive win against Bangladesh.

In the third and final ODI between the two sides at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Gardner took three wickets in Australia’s rout of the Tigresses, the home side bowled out for a miserly 89.

The 26-year-old mopped up Bangladesh’s tail with ease, taking the seventh, ninth and final wicket off the innings after seamers Kim Garth (3-11) and Ellyse Perry (2-17) reduced Bangladesh to 5-32 inside 11 overs.

It was then over to the off-spin of Gardner (3-25) and Sophie Molineux (2-7) who ended the innings in just 26.2 overs.

Gardner was not required with the bat as Australia made light work of the low total, ending the chase partway through the 19th over.

Captain Alyssa Healy top scored with a near run-a-ball 33 (34), with Perry (27* from 28) and Beth Mooney (21* from 22) seeing Australia home with eight wickets to spare.

After being awarded Player of the Series, Gardner said the experience on a different surface has been valuable for her and the Australian team.

"It's been challenging, I think Bangladesh have challenged us at different points throughout the series and I guess it just gets us used to these conditions which we're going to be coming back to in a short space of time,” the Muruwari woman said.

Gardner's eight wickets and 52 runs earned her Player of the Series honours. (Image: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)

“It naturally spins a lot more in the subcontinent and it's a lot slower than probably what we're used to as well, especially being from Australia. There's probably less turn and more bounce in the wicket.

“But I think it's just being able to adapt really quickly, which I think we've done throughout the series as a spin unit and then as as a batting unit it's being able to… overcome that and I guess just be prepared for those challenging conditions.”

The match marked Gardner’s third consecutive match of two wickets or more, the allrounder ending the three-match series with eight wickets at an average of 8.62 whilst contributing 52 runs in the middle order at a strike rate of 85.24

In the series’ two previous matches, the allrounder guided Australia to victory with the bat in the second ODI after leading the visitors with the ball in the opening match of the series.

The Player of the Tournament said the upcoming T20 series will hold the Australian side in good stead ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup, which is set to be held in Bangladesh later this year.

“Looking forward to the T20 series, it's also going to be another challenge, making sure that we capitalise when we need to and then respect when we need to as well,” Gardner said.

“I think the challenge that lies ahead is going to lead us in really good stead for the World Cup here later in the year.”

Following the comprehensive victory, Australia will turn their attention to the game’s shortest format with a three-match T20 international series against Bangladesh beginning on Sunday.

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