CWG 2022, Gold medal match, India Women vs Australia Women: Harmanpreet Kaur's 65 goes in vain as Ashleigh Gardner’s 3-16 gives Australia gold at Commonwealth Games.
Brief Scores: AUS-W 161/8 (Mooney 61, Lanning 36, Renuka 2/25) beat IND-W 152 (Kaur 65, Rodrigues 33, Gardner 3/16) by 9 runs and won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022
India who narrowly defeated England in the first semi-final of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022, locked horns with favourites Australia in the gold medal match of the Commonwealth Games Women’s Cricket Competition 2022 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Sunday.
Earlier, New Zealand comprehensively blew away England to win the bronze medal.
Australia captain Meg Lanning, on winning the toss elected to bat first on a track which was expected to be slow giving assistance to the bowlers. Both teams went into the game with an unchanged eleven.
Favourites Australia clinch gold at CWG 2022
Opting to bat first, Australia after losing opener Alyssa Healy early in the innings, recovered thanks to a 74-run partnership between Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney to reach 83/1 at the halfway mark. India although with a breathtaking day in the field broke the momentum gathered by Australia at regular intervals. However, Mooney’s outstanding innings of 61 shouldered Australia to 161/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
India didn’t have a great start losing both the openers inside the first three overs. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues shared an excellent 96-run partnership before Australia broke India’s run-flow with regular wickets at the back end. From 118/2, India lost their way and were bundled out for 152 in 19.3 overs as current T20 World Cup and ODI World Cup champions, Australia snatched a gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2022.
Let’s scan the top performances from the gold medal match between Australia Women and India Women at Edgbaston, CWG 2022.
Veteran Beth Mooney stood tall with a handsome knock of 61
Opener Beth Mooney has been in a purple patch in this tournament with great contributions at the top and on a big final’s day, she stood tall to help Australia post a superb total.
Beth Mooney didn’t get a lot of chances until Alyssa Healy got out; she cracked her first boundary wide of mid-on before flicking one through mid-wicket for the same result. She also whacked two fours against Pooja Vastrakar in three balls; the first one was pulled over mid-wicket while the second one was whipped across the fine leg fence.
Mooney, who had 1832 runs in 69 WT20I games prior to the CWG 2022 final, soon brought up a fifty-run stand with captain Meg Lanning, who was unluckily dismissed at the bowler’s end through a run out. The left-handed opener, Mooney kept on taking singles when she failed to hit big.
Soon with a boundary over the bowler’s head, Mooney celebrated her 13th WT20I fifty in 36 balls. She used her feet to loft one over wide long on to earn her eighth boundary before being caught outstandingly by Deepti Sharma on a personal score of 61 in 41 balls.
Her innings that was coloured by eight boundaries took Australia to 161/8 at the end.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front with 65
With the loss of both openers cheaply, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur walked into the middle in the third over. During the group stage game against the same opponents, Kaur smashed an unbeaten 52 in 34 balls.
In this game, Kaur did take some time at the start before smacking her first boundary through mid-wicket and then creaming one through covers for the same result. Kaur, who had 2483 WT20I runs in 128 games prior to Sunday’s game, scooped one against Tahlia McGrath through fine leg.
With her partner Jemimah Rodrigues struggling in the middle, aggressive Kaur danced down the pitch to smoke one over the long-on fence before sending one through the cow corner region for another boundary.
With the required run rate climbing up, Kaur whacked back-to-back fours; one was swept behind square while the other was deposited over mid-off for a boundary as the India skipper notched up her eighth WT20I fifty.
She cracked another boundary over the non-striker’s head before using a cross-batted shot to smash a six over deep mid-wicket for a six. Finally, her innings of 65 runs in 43 balls that was constructed with seven fours and two sixes came to an end as she got caught behind off Ashleigh Gardner. Harmanpreet Kaur goes past Virat Kohli to register most runs as an India captain in T20I history.
Ashleigh Gardner blew away India with three crucial wickets
In the opening game, Ashleigh Gardner stunned India with her match-winning innings and in the finals against the same opponent, she showcased her bowling capabilities.
Introduced for the first time in the third over, Gardner with a slower ball sent back good looking Shafali Verma who miscued a huge shot to be caught in the hands of the mid-on fielder on a personal score of 11.
When she came back for her second over, India were going strong requiring just 44 runs in 30 balls with seven wickets in hand. But first she dismissed Pooja Vastrakar on 1 who dragged a length delivery straight in the hands of the deep mid-wicket fielder.
On the very next ball, Gardner caged the big fish, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who went for a big shot only to get a faint edge as wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy leaped forward for an excellent running catch to break India’s dream.
Gardner, who had 32 WT20I wickets in 59 games prior to this game, finished with 3/16 in her three overs.
What’s to Come
India will meet England in a three-match T20I series starting on September 10 at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street. Australia, on the other hand, will play Pakistan in a three-match ODI series starting on January 16, 2023 at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.