CWG 2022: Indian Women Lose To Australia In Final

| Updated: 08 August, 2022 1:22 am IST
Australia marked their dominance at the Games with an all-round display

BENGALURU: Indian women lost by nine runs to Australian women in the Commonwealth Games final on Sunday, settling for a silver medal. Chasing 162, India were bowled out for 152 in 19.3 overs.

The match started on a controversial note as Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was allowed to play the match despite testing COVID-19 positive.

Australia won the toss and opted to bat, but lost their opener, Alyssa Healy, in the 3rd over as she was adjudged lbw after India opted for a review. The other opener, Beth Mooney, was unperturbed by the dismissal of her partner and batted with aplomb. She started by cracking a boundary off Renuka Singh and played a string of attractive shots. Especially strong on the back foot, Mooney reeled off a couple of stinging pulls.

Captain Meg Lanning also oozed exuberance and scored runs at a brisk rate. She clouted the first six of the match by launching Renuka over mid-off. Mooney and Lanning cobbled up a 74-run alliance for the second wicket before the latter was run-out by Radha Yadav in the 11th over with a sharp under-arm throw.

In the next over, Radha was in the thick of the action once again as she pulled off a stunning catch at the backward point to send Tahila back to the pavilion.

Ashleigh Gardner dished out a few lusty blows and played a fine cameo of 15-ball 25, which included a six. Mooney reached her fifty in the 16th over by smashing the off-spinner Sneh Rana for a four over her head. But Australian innings lost steam after Gardner’s dismissal as Indian fielders and bowlers showed remarkable spunk on the field. Mooney was prised out by Rana for 61 in the 18th over, while Jess Jonassen was run-out in the 20th over.

Australia scored only 36 runs in the last five overs and were restricted to 161-8 in 20 overs.

Chasing 162, Indian opener Shafali Verma made her intention abundantly clear as she waltzed down the track to Megan Schutt in the 1st over and collected a couple of boundaries. But in the second over, Darcie Brown cleaned up Smriti Mandhana for six to draw first blood for Australia. The flamboyant Shafali also perished in the next over as Gardner ripped her out.

Two quick wickets derailed India’s innings and tempered the run-rate as captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues started rebuilding the innings. While Kaur focused on scoring the runs, Rodrigues dug her heels in. India were 28-2 in 5 overs and the required run-rate was shooting up.

But Kaur took charge of the situation and plundered 14 runs in the sixth over bowled by Brown.

Tahlia looked completely out of sorts and kept spraying the balls all over the pitch. Kaur capitalised on her poor bowling and fetched 24 runs in her two overs. She was especially strong on the leg-side as she uncorked a slew of pulls, scoops and flicks.

Kaur reached her fifty by nudging Jonassen for a single in the 13th over. She celebrated the milestone by swatting Alana King for a six in the next over as India reached 112-2 in 14 overs. At that stage, India needed 50 runs in 6 overs and the victory seemed imminent. But Schutt castled Rodrigues for 33 in the next over to snap the 96-run stand for the 3rd wicket.

The promotion of Pooja Vastrakar proved fatal as she soon fell to a 5-ball 1. Gardner hustled out Kaur for 65 in the same over and India were suddenly tottering at 121-5 in 16 overs.

Alana King infused some life into the seemingly dead chase by conceding 5 runs off a wide in the 17th over. Though Rana was run-out in the next over, India managed to rack up 11 runs in the 18th over, which left them with the task of scoring 17 runs in the last two overs.

Though Deepti Sharma began the 19th over on a good note by smiting a boundary off Schutt, she was trapped right in front of the stumps on the next ball. India needed 11 runs in the last over but Jonassen dismissed Yastika Bhatia to end the match.

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