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CWG 2022, IND-W vs AUS-W: Gardner's 52* takes Aus home; Renuka's stunning 4-18 goes in vain

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances: Ashleigh Gardner's 52*, Jess Jonassen's 4-22 and Renuka Singh's 4-18 are top three performances. Australia women beat India women by 3 wickets in group opener at CWG 2022.

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances: Ashleigh Gardner's 52* takes Australia home against India in Commonwealth Games Opener | Walking Wicket (Source: ©Getty Images)
Gardner's 52* takes Australia home against India in group opener (Source: ©Getty Images)

Brief Scores: AUS-W 157/7 (Gardner 52*, Harris 37, Renuka 4/18) beat INDW 154/8 (Kaur 52, Shafali 48, Jonassen 4/22) by three wickets

Player of the Match: Ashleigh Gardner (52* runs in 35 balls)

For the very first time, women’s cricket is part of the Commonwealth Games as favorites Australia Women took on India Women for the opening game of the Commonwealth Games Women’s Cricket Competition 2022 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Men’s cricket featured at the 1998 Commonwealth Games as a 50-over tournament involving 16 teams saw South Africa clinching the gold medal defeating Australia in the finals in Kuala Lumpur.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, on winning the toss, opted to bat first on a track that Kaur felt was good for batting. Australia named a powerful side with Alyssa Healy at the top followed by Beth Mooney and captain Meg Lanning, while India handed a debut cap to medium pacer Meghna Singh.

Gardner special spoiled Renuka’s brilliance in the powerplay

Deciding to bat first, India got off to a decent start before losing aggressive Smriti Mandhana on a personal score of 24, as they reached 35/1 in the powerplay. Shafali Verma took charge before being dismissed on a 33-ball 48, as India strolled a little in the middle overs to get to 115/3 in 15 overs. But captain Harmanpreet Kaur displayed smart batting to notch up the first fifty of CWG 2022 to propel India to 154/8 in their 20 overs.

Renuka Singh Thakur, defending a low score, jolted Australia early with four big blows in the powerplay. They reached 65/5 in 10 overs before Grace Harris gave them some hope with aggressive batting. Then, Ashleigh Gardner with her magnificent half-century took Australia to an unexpected victory by three wickets with six balls to spare.

Let’s scan the top performances from the game between Australia Women and India Women at Edgbaston, CWG 2022:

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances_ Jess Jonassen takes 4-22 for Australia against India at CWG 2022 in group Opener _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Getty Images)
Jonassen takes 4-22 for Australia against India in group opener (Source: ©Getty Images)

Jess Jonassen broke India’s back with 4/22

Opting to bat first, India were off to a great start before Australia pulled them back. Just when Shafali Verma looked to break out of jail to attack the Aussies, left-arm spinner from Queensland, Jess Jonassen, sent her back using a bit of luck as Verma got a faint edge in trying to sweep a leg-sided delivery.

Coming back into her third and 16th over of the innings, Jansen, who before this game had 80 WT20I wickets in 89 games at an economy of just 5.47, got the better of Jemimah Rodrigues who lofted a wide delivery to the hands of mid-off fielder on a personal score of 11.

Jonassen, who has fought with injuries in her career before undergoing four knee operations in 2018, earned her second wicket of the over catching Deepti Sharma off her own bowling.

The 29-year-old spinner got rid of Harleen Deol, who in an attempt to go for a lofted drive got cramped to get caught at covers on 7 as Jonassen finished with 4-22 in her four overs.

With her fourth four-wicket haul in T20Is, Jonassen joined Ellyse Perry and Josh Hazlewood in an elite list of Australians to take 4+ wickets in a T20I game on four occasions.

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances_ Renuka Singh Thakur takes 4-18 for India against Australia Women at CWG 2022 in group Opener _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Associated Press)
Renuka Singh's 4-18 goes in vain as India lost to Aus (Source: ©Associated Press)

Renuka Singh breathes fire with four powerplay wickets

Defending 155 against a top-class Australian batting side, India required early wickets and Himachal Pradesh medium fast bowler, Renuka Singh Thakur provided early breakthroughs for India.

On the second ball of the innings, Thakur sent back dangerous Alyssa Healy who got a thick edge to a ball that bounced a little more than expected for a two-ball silver duck.

In her very second over, Renuka got rid of Meg Lanning on 8 when she punched a delivery straight into the hands of the backward point fielder. On the fifth ball of the over, Renuka went through the gates of Beth Mooney on 10, as Australia started limping on 21/3 in three overs.

Renuka, who had just three WT20I wickets in six games before Friday’s clash began her next over with another wicket; this time she disturbed the furniture of Tahlia McGrath as Australia lost their fourth wicket reaching 38/4 in five overs. Renuka Singh Thakur returned with figures of 4/18 in her four overs.

Renuka Singh became just the second India pace bowler after Jhulan Goswami to take 4+ wickets in Women’s T20Is.

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances_ Ashleigh Gardner's 52_ takes Australia home against India in Commonwealth Games Opener _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Getty Images)
Gardner's 52* gives Australia 2 crucial points against India (Source: ©Getty Images)

Ashleigh Gardner stuns India with match-winning half-century

Australia had lost four wickets before the powerplay ended, as India smelt early success but Ashleigh Gardner, who arrived at number 6, had some other plans.

She began her innings with a boundary towards covers before playing a few dot balls, watching Grace Harris attack India from the other end. Gardner cracked two back-to-back boundaries to fire up in the middle overs.

With more boundaries in a stand of 47* runs with Alana King, Gardner took charge to hit more shots around the ground. Whether it was against the spinners or against the pacers, Gardner seemed to have all the answers.

Gardner, who before this game had 820 WT20I runs at a strike rate of 130 in 55 games, reached her fifth T20I half-century in 34 balls thanks to her nine masterclass boundaries to take Australia over the line from the jaws of defeat with six balls to spare.

What’s to Come

India Women, after their loss in the opening game, will face their arch rivals Pakistan Women on July 31 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

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