Friday, August 19, 2022

CWG 2022: Australia women’s defeat India by three wickets

Pacer Renuka Thakur’s devastating spell of 4/18 went in vain as Ashleigh Gardner’s 52 not out helped Australia defeat India by three wickets in first Group A match of women’s T20 event in 2022 Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston.
After skipper Harmanpreet Kaur slammed 52 off 34 balls and opener Shafali Verma chipped in with a 33-ball 48, Renuka’s magnificent opening burst took out Australia’s top four and with Deepti Sharma (2-26) taking out Rachael Haynes, Australia were in deep trouble at 49-5. But Gardner stitched stands of 51 with Grace Harris (37 off 20 balls) and 47 with Alana King (18 not out) to be unbeaten for a 35-ball 52, hitting nine boundaries under pressure to take Australia to a cracking victory on cricket’s comeback in the multi-sport event. They were also helped by the fact that apart from Renuka and Deepti, rest of the Indian bowling attack had an off day.
Renuka’s mayhem began from the second ball of the innings, forcing Alyssa Healy to poke at a full ball outside the off-stump and nicked to first slip. In her next over, she enticed Meg Lanning to cut a short and wide ball which dipped a bit, caught by forward diving backward point.
Four balls later, Beth Mooney tried to cut behind point, but ended up chopping on to her stumps instead. Tahlia McGrath counterpunched with three boundaries off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. But Renuka got her out with an inswinger coming back in and rattled the stumps through the gate as Australia were reduced to 34-4 in 4.1 overs. The total soon became 49/5 as Haynes tried to go inside-out over cover. But the thick outer edge was caught by point off Deepti. With half of the side back in pavilion, Grace had other ideas in her mind.
Batting in a T20I for the first time since March 2016, Grace combined clean hitting with brute power to slam five fours and two sixes against the spin of Deepti, Rajeshwari and Radha Yadav. She was well-supported by Ashleigh Gardner, who took two boundaries off debutant Meghna Singh, in a 51-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
In a bid to go big over cover, Grace went for the loft and was caught by Harmanpreet running to her left from near mid-off to take a reverse-cup catch off Meghna’s bowling.
Brief Scores: India 154/8 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 54, Shafali Verma 48; Jess Jonassen 4/22, Megan Schutt 2-26) lost to Australia 157/7 in 19 overs (Ashleigh Gardner 52 not out, Grace Harris 37; Renuka Thakur 4/18, Deepti Sharma 2/24) by three wickets


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