Favourites Australia will face India for a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women’s 20-over cricket event after they defeated trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand by five wickets at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Australia, who won the last two T20 World Cups in 2018 and 2020 and the 50-over World Cup earlier this year, chased a target of 145 with three balls to spare following a 56-run partnership between Beth Mooney (36) and Tahlia McGrath (34). Put in to bat, New Zealand ended their innings on 144/7 after captain Sophie Devine’s knock of 53 and Amelia Kerr’s 40.
Fast bowler Megan Schutt took 3-20 for Australia, while McGrath got two wickets and Jess Jonassen bagged another. Cricket returned to the Commonwealth Games this year after a 24-year absence with the women’s event. The South African men’s team claimed the last Commonwealth Games cricket gold medal, in a 50-over format, in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Chasing a target of 165, England looked to be in control when captain Nat Sciver (41) and wicketkeeper Amy Jones (31) formed a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket, before Jones was run out in the 17th over and Sciver was run out in the 18th. Sneh Rana bowled a tight final over, picking up a wicket, to finish with 2-28, while Deepti Sharma took 1-18 as India prevailed in the thriller.
Opener Smriti Mandhana smashed 61 from 32 balls before Jemimah Rodrigues scored an unbeaten 44 from 31 deliveries to guide India to 164-5 in their 20 overs. England will face New Zealand for the bronze medal on Sunday morning.
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