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India wins silver after losing to Australia by 9 runs in 1st Commonwealth women’s cricket final

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India, chasing down Australia’s target of 162, appeared to be on course for a shock victory in the Commonwealth Games women’s cricket final when they were 118-2 in the 15th over, but a clatter of wickets slowed their charge

India, chasing down Australia’s target of 162, appeared to be on course for a shock victory in the Commonwealth Games women’s cricket final when they were 118-2 in the 15th over, but a clatter of wickets slowed their charge

There couldn’t have been a more fitting finale to the women’s T20 cricket event of the Commonwealth Games.

For the Indian fans, an overwhelming majority in the crowd that turned up at the Edgbaston Stadium, it may have brought back unpleasant memories of the 2017 women’s World Cup final between India and England when the Women In Blue shockingly went down to the host by nine runs at Lord’s.

On Sunday, the margin of defeat was similar as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s 65 (43b, 7×4, 2×6) went in vain against Australia. The Indian women had to settle for silver in their maiden CWG cricket campaign.

India appeared to be on course for a shock victory when they were 118-2 in the 15th over but a clatter of wickets slowed their charge. They still found boundaries to keep them in the hunt and reached the final over with 11 runs needed and two wickets in hand. But Meghna Singh was run out off the second ball and Yastika Bhatia was trapped lbw the following ball.

Victory underlines the dominance of Australia’s women, who are also world champions in the 20-over and 50-over formats.

Australian players celebrate their win in the women’s cricket T20 final match against India at Edgbaston at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England
| Photo Credit: AP

Tahlia McGrath tests positive for COVID-19

The toss, delayed over discussions surrounding Australia all-rounder Tahlia McGrath’s inclusion in the XI even though she tested positive for COVID-19, saw Meg Lanning opt to bat.

Meg Lanning (36, 26b, 5×4, 6×1) and Beth Mooney (61, 41b, 8×4) added 74 in 47 balls, the best of the Australian innings, as the team finished with 161 for eight in 20 overs. Australia were unable to create the momentum they wanted, losing wickets at regular intervals in the face of an impressive performance by India in the field

In reply, India opener Shafali Verma got off the blocks early with two fours in the first over bowled by Megan Schutt. It was an outing to forget for Smriti Mandhana, who ended up shuffling across a tad too much towards the off stump and getting bowled.

Strong partnership between Jemimah, Harmanpreet

But Jemimah Rodrigues and captain Harmanpreet Kaur rebuilt the innings at a raucous Edgbaston, where most of the support was for India.

But just when India appeared to be taking the game away from Australia, Rodrigues was bowled by Megan Schutt for 33 in the 15th over, ending a stand of 96.

The moment of the match came when McGrath, after taking Shafali’s catch, asked her teammates who had forgotten all about her COVID-19 diagnosis to stay away from her and celebrate.

Harmanpreet and Jemimah did their best but fell in quick succession. The Aussies kept their nerve even the Indians lost theirs.

New Zealand beats England in bronze medal match

In the bronze medal match earlier on Sunday, New Zealand coasted to an eight-wicket win over England.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat but could only muster 110-9 in their 20 overs. England captain Nat Sciver top-scored with 27 and Amy Jones hit 26 but the total looked well short of par. 

New Zealand raced to 46 after just four overs and shrugged off the loss of Suzie Bates (20) and Georgia Plimmer (four) to reach their target with more than eight overs to spare.

Sophie Devine, the New Zealand captain, top-scored with 51 not out off 40 balls.

The scores: Australia 161/8 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 61, Meg Lanning 36, Renuka Singh 2/25, Sneh Rana 2/38) bt India 152 in 19.3 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 65, Jemimah Rodrigues 33, Gardner 3/16, Megan Schutt 2/27).

(With inputs from AFP)



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