Renuka Singh Thakur’s heroic in vain, Ashleigh Gardner scripts Historic Win

Women’s cricket marked its debut at the Commonwealth Games with a faceoff between two top teams from group A in Australia and India. The contest stood up to everybody’s expectations as it turned out to be yet another intriguing contest between Australia and India. After a lot of seesaw battle with the possible outcome, it ended Australia’s way.


Grace Harris in action during 1st Match against India at Edgbaston. PC: Getty Images
Grace Harris in action during 1st Match against India at Edgbaston. PC: Getty Images


India having won the toss opt to bat first and had a decent start with Smriti Mandhana accelerating right from ball 1, her wicket on 24 off Darcie Brown’s bowling in the 4th over saw Australia have their first. It then was Shafali Verma getting into her zone leaving Yastika Bhatia with a little to do on the other end. Sadly for India what followed after a good 43-run partnership was a massive mix-up between the two that saw Yastika depart for 8(12). Harmanpreet Kaur joined in a set Shafali Verma and the duo were starting to charge together, but Jess Jonassen struck Shafali on 48 and got an end to her charge.

Harmanpreet Kaur was looking set but was falling short of partners on the other end as Jemimah walked back for 11(12) and in the same over Deepti Sharma departed for 1 off Jess Jonassen’s bowling. Jess in her final over struck Harleen, but thankfully for India, skipper Harmanpreet was having an aggressive outing and got to her 50 off 31 balls. Megan Schutt bowled a good final over and dismissed Harmanpreet Kaur on a fine knock of 52(34). India got to a strong total of 154 in their 20 for the loss of 8 wickets. For Australia, it was Jess Jonassen leading the charts with 4 wickets to her name (4-22) followed by Megan Schutt’s 2-26 and Darcie Brown’s 1-30 (3).

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Australia in reply didn’t have the start they would have wished for as Renuka Singh Thakur handed the dangerous Alyssa Healy a duck off the 2nd ball. Meg Lanning got a couple away, but bowling her 2nd Renuka struck 1st ball and Meg walked back before in the same over Beth Mooney charging down the track had an inside edge disturb the furniture. Just like Meg, Tahlia too got a few away before falling to Renuka Singh Thakur’s first ball of her next, 3rd over. Australia finished the powerplay with figures of 41-4. Rachael Haynes and Ashleigh Gardner both struggled to get going and Deepti Sharma got an end to Haynes’ struggles. Australia in trouble had a smiling Grace Harris come in and take on the Indian attack, Australia were starting to gain confidence and it wasn’t too late before Meghna on 37(20) got an end to Harris carnage and was a good catch running back taken by Harmanpreet Kaur.

Jess Jonassen failed to contribute with the bat in hand and Australia slipped further to 112-7. Alana King got a couple away before Ashleigh Gardner got into business and got to her half-century before the pair won the game for Australia with 3 wickets in hands and an over to spare. Ashleigh Gardner on 52(35) and Alana on 18(16) remained unbeaten. For India, Renuka Singh Thakur and Deepti Sharma stepped in on the big occasion and topped the chart with figures of 4-16 and 2-24 respectively.

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With Australia 7 down for 112 chasing 154, it never was Australia’s game but got there from behind to get to an incredible win on their Games debut and dent India with another win in the rich rivalry the two sides share.

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