World champions Australia beat India by nine runs in a T20 thriller to win the gold medal in the women’s cricket event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Sunday. Batting first, Australia scored 161 for 8 in 20 overs with Beth Mooney scoring 61 off 41 balls while Renuka Singh returned 2 for 25. In reply, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led the chase with 65 off 43 balls but wickets in quick succession derailed the Indian team , which eventually folded for 152 in 19.3 overs. The Aussies took the last five wickets for 13 runs with Ashleigh Gardner returning 3 for 16.
For India, Renuka and Sneh Rana (2/38) shared four wickets but it was Radha Yadav who put on an incredible fielding show at the Edgbaston stadium. Yadav effected a brilliant through-the-legs run-out off her own bowling and then grabbed a diving catch to get rid of Tahila Mcgrath.
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It was the first delivery of the 11th over when Beth Mooney played it straight and her batting partner Lanning hurried for a single. But Yadav was quick to stop the ball and produce an underarm throw that had Lanning falling short of her crease by inches.
In the next over bowled by Deepti Sharma, McGrath went for a cut but didn’t keep it down. Yadav made no mistake in the backward point region and dived to her left to grab a stunner. McGrath, who played the final despite returning positive for Covid-19, perished for just 2, with Australia suffering two blows in as many overs.
During the chase, Harmanpreet was fluid to hit 65, which featured seven fours and two sixes. Jemimah Rodrigues also chipped in with run-a-ball 31 but India’s lower batting order could not keep up with the pressure and were bowled out for 152 in the final over.
It was yet another win for the dominant Australians, who won the last two T20 World Cups in 2018 and 2020 and the 50-over World Cup earlier this year. India got on the podium as silver medalists.
“It’s absolutely huge,” said left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen. “We are blessed enough to be part of some winning World Cup teams but to win the first gold medal for women’s cricket in the Commonwealth Games, you’re only ever going to do that once.”
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