The Indian women’s cricket team created history at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 as they defeated England in the semi-final to secure a berth in the final and the country’s first-ever medal in the sport at the Games.
England may have lost the first semi-final by 4 runs but the hosts still have a shot at the Bronze medal in tomorrow’s third-place game where they will play the loser of the Australia-New Zealand semifinal.
At the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, England choked at 160/6 while chasing the target of 165. Captain Natalie Sciver (41 off 43) almost took the game away from India but her run-out in the 19th over — off a sharp throw from Smriti Mandhana — changed the script.
Amy Jones (31 off 24) and Danielle Wyatt (35 off 27) also played their shots but threw their wickets away at critical moments. Sneh Rana was electric on the field. She caused the run-outs of Alice Capsey (13 off 8) and Jones, and claimed the wickets of Wyatt and Katherine Brunt (0). She finished with figures of 2/28.
India will play the winner between Australia and New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games cricket final on Sunday.
Earlier,. Smriti Mandhana’s elegant yet brutal knock of 61 along with Jemimah Rodrigues’ useful 44 not out powered India to a healthy 164 for 5 against hosts England in the semifinal of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) August 6, 2022
Mandhana’s 32-ball assault in the Powerplay laid the platform while Rodrigues, who is finally doing justice to her enormous potential, improvised well during his 31-ball unbeaten stay at the crease. En route to her knock, Mandhana also recorded the fastest T20 International fifty in women’s cricket off only 23 balls.
A new and improved Deepti Sharma chipped in with 22 off 20 balls, but India might think they ended 15 runs short of the par score after 64 runs came in the six powerplay overs.
The next 14 overs yielded 100 runs as India lost momentum when three wickets fell in quick succession during the middle overs.
Rodrigues and Deepti added an invaluable 53 runs for the fourth wicket partnership.
Mandhana’s drives are the most picturesque thing in women’s cricket and one would rub his eyes in disbelief when the normally rampaging Shafali Verma (17 off 15 balls) was the silent partner in their opening stand of 76 in 7.5 overs.
There were cover drives off Katherine Brunt, pulled sixes off seamers Natt Sciver and Issy Wong and a lofted one from spinner Sarah Glenn’s bowling over long-on.
The half-century came in only 23 balls as England bowlers looked clueless during that phase.
Once Sciver got rid of Mandhana, who was trying to play the lap-scoop, the run rate slowed down as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, despite a couple of fours and a six, played a few dot balls in her run-a-ball 20.
While Mandhana had eight fours and three sixes in her knock, Rodrigues had seven fours to her credit, mostly using the gaps in the arc between point and extra-cover.
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