Australia beat India by 9 Runs to Win GOLD medal

Women’s cricket at the Commonwealth Games in its grand final had two giants in Australia and India lock horns. Australia enjoyed a really good start, but a cluster of wickets just after the halfway mark put a hold on the flow of runs and timely wickets for India at the back end restricted Australia from a strong finish but a competitive total was on board. India in reply didn’t have a good start, but a counterattack saw them stitch a wonderful partnership which when saw curtains had Australia breakthrough the small window to hand India an all-out to clinch the GOLD on Games debut.

 

Australia beat India by 9 Runs to Win GOLD medal . PC: Getty Images
Australia beat India by 9 Runs to Win GOLD medal . PC: Getty Images

1st innings : Australia – 161/8 (20)

Australia having won the toss opt to bat first and with 9 runs on board lost their first wicket in Alyssa Healy on 7(9) as a just-in-time review saw Renuka Thakar get the early wicket. Meg Lanning joined Beth Mooney, the duo confidently struck boundaries and a maximum off Meg’s bat saw Australia close their powerplay on 43-1. The pair depended a lot on their running and got the odd boundary as well before a 17-run over off Harmanpreet Kaur’s bowling saw Australia get to 83-1 at halfway stage. Radha Yadav was reintroduced and off her first ball, in an unbelievable fashion caught Meg Lanning on the non-strikers end inches short of her crease on 36(26).

Deepti Sharma’s reintroduction from the other end saw her dismiss Tahlia McGrath on 2(4). Ashleigh Gardner walked in and right from ball 1 cleared her intent with a double followed by a boundary and carried on which saw Australia get to 125-3 at the end of 15 overs. Sneh Rana’s reintroduction saw her make an instant impact as she put a hold on Gardner’s surge on 25(15). Beth Mooney on the other end went well about her business and with a boundary got to her 50* off 36 balls. Renuka bowling her final over dismissed Grace Harris on 2(4) and the next over saw Sneh Rana pick up the big wicket of Beth Mooney on 61(41) as she just was starting to put her foot on the accelerator, wicket courtesy, Deepti Sharma who hung on to a one-handed walking backwards. Rachael Haynes scored an invaluable 18*(10) which saw Australia have some sort of a finish as they closed out on a score of 161 in their 20 overs. For India, Renuka with figures of 4-0-25-2 topped the wickets chart which saw Sneh Rana with a couple, Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav with a wicket each to their name follow.

Update: Taniya Bhatia while wicket-keeping was hit on the head and as a concussion substitute Yastika Bhatia took the field to bat.

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2nd innings : India – 152/10 (19.3)

India in reply didn’t have a good start as Darcie Brown in her first over struck Smriti Mandhana on 6(7) and the next over saw Ashleigh Gardner dismiss Shafali Verma on 11(7). Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues after a couple of quiet overs got going as Darcie Brown bowling the last over of the powerplay leaked 14 runs which saw India close their 6 overs on a score of 42-2. A couple of 11 run overs off Jess Jonassen and Thalia McGrath helped India get to 75-2 at halfway stage and the crucial 50-run stand was up between the two. Harmanpreet Kaur then had her foot on the accelerator as she struck a couple of big overs which saw a 13-run over off Thalia and a 14-run over off Alana King and in the process she got to her 50* off 34 balls. Jemimah with not a lot to do was doing well to rotate the strike without chewing balls.

Megan Schutt’s reintroduction saw Australia break the partnership worth 96 off 71 with the wicket of Jemimah on 33(33) and India at the end of 15 overs were 118-3. Gardner’s reintroduction in the next over saw Sneh Rana deny her a hat-trick after dismissing Pooja Vastraka on 1(5) and Harmanpreet Kaur on 65(43). With 41 required off 22, Alana King leaked 13 runs in an over which saw 6 runs come off wides. Next over saw Sneh Rana out on 8(6) but was a handy 11 run over. India requiring 17 off 12, got 6 runs off the Megan Schutt over but saw Grace Harris with a direct hit run out Radha Yadav on 1(2) and importantly Deepti Sharma out lbw on 13(8). With 11 required off 6, Yastika denied a single off the first ball to keep the strike, then running for the 2nd Meghna Singh on 1(1) at the non-striker end was run-out and the 3rd ball saw Yastika out lbw on 2(5) which saw India bowled out for 152 and had Australia clinch the GOLD by 9 runs. For Australia, Ashleigh Gardner with 3, Megan Schutt with a couple, Darcie Brown and Jess Jonassen with a wicket each got on the wickets chart.

India were 118/2, requiring 44 off 34 then Australia took 8/34 in 31 balls, that alone should sum up the final minute’s chaos. Australia had Megan Schutt break the partnership worth 96 and just then in the span of 10 balls India lost 3 wickets for 3 runs and to go back will only look to rewrite those few minutes.

Australia’s rich cricketing and sporting history now is glittering a lot more than ever as they’ve added a Commonwealth Games GOLD to their vastly decorated trophy cabinet. Whereas, India with a teasing defeat by 9 runs will be hurt, but have got to be proud of their fight and intent that was on display throughout the tournament which sees them take home the SILVER.

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