CWG 2022: Ashleigh Gardner’s Fifty Helps Australia Beat India By 3 Wickets In Commonwealth Games Opener

India vs Australia, CWG 2022:Despite Renuka Singh's magical spell in the early overs, India failed to stop Australia's run chase. Scroll to know more

By Ashita Singh
Updated: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 06:50 PM IST
Minute Read
CWG 2022: Ashleigh Gardner’s Fifty Helps Australia Beat India By 3 Wickets In Commonwealth Games Opener

Australia women's cricket team on Friday defeated India women's cricket team by 3 wickets in the campaign opener of Commonwealth Games 2022, Birmingham. Electing to bat, India posted a challenging 154 for eight in 20 overs with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur hitting a breezy half-century. Australia overhauled the target of 155 with an over to spare.

For India, Captains Harmanpreet smashed 52 off 34 balls with eight fours and a six while opener Shafali Verma played an attacking knock of 48 off 33 balls. Smriti Mandhana (25 off 17 balls) also started well but couldn't convert that into a substantial knock.

With Australia on the mat at 49 for 5, India should have completed the job but allowed Ashleigh Gardner (52 not out off 35 balls) to change the game in two game-changing stands of 51 and 47 with Grace Harris (37) and Alana King (18 not out) respectively.

In the end, Australia overcame the target comfortably, showing the reigning T20 and ODI world champions can win from any situation.

Gardner's countering attack innings was the one to remember as she played with the tail to knock off the runs.

The Powerplay overs belonged to Renuka who produced a brilliant spell of fast bowling. She removed the dangerous Alyssa Healy in the first over to make the game interesting before getting rid of Beth Mooney and Australian skipper Meg Lanning.

A sharp inswinger led to the downfall of the aggressive Tahlia McGrath, making it 34 for four with India all over their fancied opponents.

However India lost the momentum as their premier weapons -- left-arm spin twins Radha Yadav (0/42 in 4 overs) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (0/24 in 2 overs) gave away 66 in six overs between them to let the momentum slip.

Debutant slow medium Meghna Singh was also pedestrian at the back-end when Gardner and King sent her for a leatherhunt.

Earlier. Shafali Verma (48 off 33) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's (52 off 34) stroked filled innings entertained the Edgbaston crowd but the other batters disappointed.

Smriti Mandhana facing pacer Darcie Brown on the first ball of the competition marked the beginning of a pivotal point in women's cricket with the game aiming to reach the Olympics via the CWG route.

However, the Harmanpreet-led side lost their way in the last five overs with five wickets falling for 39 runs. Smriti played some elegant shots during her short stay before Shafali and Harmanpreet took the attack to the Australian bowlers.

With a bit of luck, Shafali smashed Darcie for three fours in a row in the 10th over to set the alarm bells ringing in the opposition camp. Harmanpreet got going with a paddle sweep off spinner Ashleigh Gardner and targeted the spinners like she usually does.

Her only six of the innings came in the 20th over when she stepped out to dispatch Jess Jonassen over long on before a sweep brought her seventh 50 in T20 Internationals.
The lack of support from the other end hurt India's chances of putting up a formidable total with lower middle-order hardly contributing.

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