Cricket made its return to the Commonwealth Games after 24 long years with the introduction of women’s cricket in the Games schedule. All of the 12 league stage matches have concluded and the four semifinalists in Australia, New Zealand, India and England have advanced to the business end of the tournament eyeing a podium finish.
Australia in their opener against India had a near escape as Ashleigh Gardner and Alana King with bat in hand bailed their team out of trouble to seal the win by 3 wickets. Australia then registered comprehensive wins against Barbados by 9 wickets chasing a low 64 and then against Pakistan won the contest by 44 runs. Australia having whitewashed oppositions in the league stage matches advanced to the knockouts with 6 points leading the points table in group A.
The only concern for Australia is with their batting unit which is highly experienced but hasn’t really got going like they generally have.
India in a shocker lost their opener to Australia but did extremely well to win their league stage matches against Pakistan by 8 wickets chasing a low total of 99 and against Barbados registering a commanding 100-run win to advance to the knockouts with 4 points.
India will be happy with their bowling performances but maybe will have to stop playing 3 pacers and add in a spinner. There remains a slight bit of concern in the batting department with there being shuffles in their best 6 and their batting positions.
The Final Four are here!
— Female Cricket #B2022 (@imfemalecricket) August 5, 2022
England failed to get going to the Sri Lanka spin attack but eventually got to the required to bag the contest by 5 wickets. The side then registered a good 26-run win defending a total of 167 against South Africa and then recorded a comprehensive 7-wicket win against New Zealand making it 3 wins in 3 games.
England have looked exceptionally good with ball in hand, but batting against spinners the team has looked to struggle in finding boundaries and that will be an aspect they’ll wish to keep aside as India can field in a good spin attack to restrict the English carnage.
New Zealand defended their total of 167 to register a 13-run win against South Africa and then registered a comprehensive 45-run win against Sri Lanka to seal their place in the knockouts. The side did lose their final league stage game against England to a batting collapse.
New Zealand overall have looked good, but they’ve got a relatively young bowling attack and how they turn up on a big day against big teams will be interesting to see.
The group B teams in England and New Zealand could look better having played the South African pace and the Sri Lanka spin attack to Australia and India who come into the knockouts having not played the same quality. It now is all about how teams turn up on a given day and perform as the stage is all set for the 6th of August for Australia and New Zealand to lock horns in the 1st semifinal at 3:30 PM IST before the England-India faceoff scheduled for later in the day at 10:30 PM IST.