CWG 2022, 1st Semi-final, England Women vs India Women: India Women beat England Women by 4 runs and qualify for gold medal match in CWG 2022. Top three performances and Top twitter reactions.
Brief Scores: IND-W 164/5 (Mandhana 61, Rodrigues 44*, Kemp 2-22) beat ENG-W 160/6 (Sciver 41, Wyatt 35, Sneh Rana 2-28, Deepti 1-18) by 4 runs and qualify for gold medal match
England who were yet to be defeated in this Commonwealth Games (CWG) with three successive wins, locked horns with India who came on the back of two back-to-back victories in the first semifinal of the Commonwealth Games Women’s Cricket Competition 2022 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, on winning the toss decided to bat first. Both teams went into the game with an unchanged eleven.
Balanced performance from India promoted them to CWG 2022 gold medal game
India got off to a brutal start with opener Smriti Mandhana bringing up a 23-ball half-century to take them to 64/0 in the powerplay. From being 73/0 in the seventh over, India lost momentum due to some great bowling and fielding by England to reach 92/2 in the 15th over. The 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues propelled India to 164/5 in their allotted 20 overs, which was India Women’s highest T20I total against England in England.
Chasing 165, England got off to a flying start despite losing couple of wickets at the top. Shouldering on Sophia Dunkley and Danielle Wyatt, the hosts touched 58/1 in six overs. Just like India, they lost their way in the middle scoring just 39/2 in the next six overs. Leader Nat Sciver did her best to score some quick runs at the back end but India’s bowlers kept their calm till the last ball to earn the finals ticket by a slender margin of 4 runs.
Let’s scan the top performances from the first semi-final between England Women and India Women at Edgbaston, CWG 2022.
Record fastest fifty from ‘Marvelous Mandhana’ offers India a fiery start
Smriti Mandhana, throughout this Commonwealth Games, has given India some powerful starts with her aggressive batting and on a semi-final’s day, she did the same and did it with aplomb.
Mandhana began with a boundary off Katherine Brunt in the mid-off region before smashing two back-to-back boundaries in the second over of Alice Capsey - one four went through the gap between mid-off and cover while the second one was swept through square leg. The left-hander, who had 2064 runs in 89 WT20I games prior to Saturday’s game, kept on taking Brunt smacking her for two more boundaries, one in the third man and one through backward square leg.
Mandhana, who deposited a match-winning 42-ball 63 against Pakistan in the group stage, walking down the pitch muscled her first six on the off-side. She added one more boundary besides collecting her second six over cow corner to notch up her 15th WT20I fifty in 23 balls.
Smriti broke her own previous record of the fastest fifty for India in Women’s T20Is when she scored a fifty in 24 balls in 2019. Her 51 runs in the powerplay are the highest score for India in T20I powerplays going past 50 scored by Rohit Sharma.
She lofted another six over the long-on region before playing a poor dil-scoop shot to be dismissed on 61 in 32 balls with eight boundaries and three sixes, as India built a great platform in the semis. With 153 runs in four games, Mandhana has the highest number of runs in this tournament so far.
Deepti Sharma chips in with handy all-round performance
India, after a great speedy start, were struggling at 113/3 in 14 overs when Deepti Sharma walked out to the middle. She has been excellent with the bat in this tournament in offering India some quick runs in the last overs.
After taking some time, Deepti slapped two back-to-back boundaries, one was swept in the fine leg region whereas the other was swept in square of fine leg. She kept on taking singles in a partnership of 53 runs in 38 balls between her and Jemimah Rodrigues as she made a 20-ball 22 with a couple of boundaries.
England, chasing 165, fired up with 24/0 in the first two overs as Harmanpreet introduced Deepti in the second over and received a reward straightaway. The right arm off-spinner, with a quick delivery, trapped Sophia Dunkley before the stumps on a personal score of 19.
Deepti who had 64 WT20I wickets in 63 games prior to this one, didn’t take more wickets but dried up the run-flow to return figures of 1/18 in her four overs.
She was well-supported by Sneh Rana, who picked up 2/28 in four overs; the two wickets were those of Danielle Wyatt, who was looking good for her 27-ball 35 and Katherine Brunt on a two-ball duck. With these stunning performances, India grabbed the game by four runs.
Natalie Sciver stood tall for England
With England’s regular captain, Heather Knight being ruled out of the tournament due to an injury, Natalie Sciver was doing the job of leading this strong England side.
With ball in hand, she caged the big fish Smriti Mandhana on 61 with a fullish delivery that was reverse scooped straight in the hands of the short fine leg fielder as Sciver returned with figures of 1/26 in her three overs.
Sciver came in to bat in the seventh over and scored a few boundaries at the start. However, she was fighting to score the singles and was reduced to 31 in 36 balls at one point. But she stood tall in the end to crack a six and a four at the end before being run out on 41 in 43 balls. It was only because of her stay in the middle, England were breathing till the end overs.
What’s to Come
After losing this game, hosts England will play the bronze medal game, while India will move forward to the final for the gold medal match. Both games will be played on August 7 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.