New Delhi: As women’s cricket makes its debut in the Commonwealth Games, Australia chased down 155 against India to win a historical encounter. Even after a top-order collapse, the Australian players managed to chase the score against a formidable bowling lineup. The Indian team fell around 10-run short as the commentator said.
Kaur plays the captain’s inning
Smriti Mandhana gave a good start to the Indian inning as she dealt in boundaries. But her inning proved to be a short one as Darcie Brown bowled a wide delivery to which Mandhana edged due to lack of footwork and the ball landed into the keeper’s hands. Shafali Verma took the charge and played a good inning of 48(33) as she hit 9 boundaries. After her wicket, India saw 3 quick wickets as the Indian middle-order almost collapsed.
India was standing at 117/5 in 15.5 overs when Harmanpreet Kaur played a brilliant inning, scoring a half-century to lead India to a fine total. She scored 52 off 34 balls, hitting 8 fours and a six. Megan Schutt ended the bowling for the Aussies in style as she took a couple of wickets in the last two deliveries. But the star of the Australian bowling was Jess Jonassen who took the third, fourth, fifth and sixth wicket.
Gardner chases when top order fails
Renuka Singh gave India a dream start by getting Alyssa Healy out for a duck on the second ball. Coming back to bowl the third over, she took a couple more, dismissing the number 1 Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney. She also dismissed Tahlia McGrath in that spell who was scoring nicely. Tahlia scored 14 off 8 before getting out. Australia was 34/4 and India looked in the best position one can be. Deepti Sharma dismissed Rachael Haynes to add fuel to the fire and Australia lost their fifth batter at a score of 49.
Ashleigh Gardner took the charge along with Grace Harris. They posted a 51-run partnership before Harris got out on 37(20). The good thing was that the run rate was still under control as per the Australian standards. India tried to make a comeback as the 7th wicket fell on 110, but Gardner was too good to let the match go off.
Ashleigh scored 52*(35) to lead Australia to a victory by 3 wickets in the first-ever women’s T20 game in CWG. However, not just for Australia, it was a victory for women’s cricket and Commonwealth Games as both gained some eyeballs and broadcasters. This can prove to be a turning point for cricket as a sport.