Australia Women marched towards Gold medal triumph as India settles for silver in CWG 2022 Cricket

The golden team with the golden reward

The cricketing action of the 2022 Commonwealth Games ended here as the three Women’s teams returned to their home with laurels. Australia defeated Team India in the Grand Finale of the competition to claim the Gold medal while the Women in Blue had to satisfy with silverware. 

New Zealand Women also ensured that they returned to their homeland by having a Bronze medal in the bank.

New Zealand Women sprints to the Bronze Medal

On the final day of Cricket at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham kick-started with the Bronze medal contest. Where New Zealand registered an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the hosts England Women to bag the bronzeware. It was the White Ferns’ game all the way from start to end as they convincingly emerged victorious at an ease. 

The White Ferns go for the bronze

The White Ferns go for the bronze

English stand-in captain Natalie Sciver won the toss and elected to bat first with an aim to put up a big target on the board. However, the Kiwis’ bowling unit did not allow them to succeed in their intentions and got restricted to 110 on the loss of nine wickets after the completion of 20 overs. It was also the lowest first-inning total of the Three Lioness in this competition. 

It was a bad day at the office for the English batters as seven batters got dismissed on the single-digit score while only three of them could cross the individual double-digit mark. Captain Nat Sciver’s quickfire knock of 27 off 19 balls at a strike rate of 142.11 was the highlight of the English innings and inspired her girls to fight back. Moreover, the contribution of Amy Jones (26) and Sophie Ecclestone (18) helped them to post a respectable total. 

While chasing the small, the White Ferns displayed an aggressive approach from the very first ball and chased it down at an ease. New Zealand Women achieved the target in the 12th over itself and won their second CWG Bronze medal in this sport. The star Kiwi opening duo of Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates gave a great start to their innings by bringing up a fifty-run stand for the opening wicket in just 25 balls. 

When Suzie Bates left the battlefield, Amelia Kerr stepped up to provide assistance to her captain to stay on the crease until the final run was scored. The 32-year-old skipper Devine scored unbeaten 51 runs from 40 balls including six fours and one six and ensured their triumph by leading from the front. She also trapped two batters, set Sophie Ecclestone and the opponent skipper Nat Sciver to end up with the bowling figures of 2 for 11 runs in three overs. 

Australia Women clinches Gold Medal

Team India settles with silver

Team India settles with silver

Unlike the one-sided saga of the Bronze medal match, the battle for Gold was legendary and the spectators thrilled until the last delivery. Despite the early dismissal of Alyssa Healy in the third over, opener Bet Mooney (61) and the captain Meg Lanning (36) saved the Aussies from collapse and had a 74-run partnership for the second wicket between them. Then the star all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner (25) took it over from them while late fireworks from Rachael Haynes finished it off in style. 

The Southern Stars posted a fighting total of 161 at the loss of eight wickets and handed it over to the bowling unit. Beth Mooney opened the innings with Healy, played a robust inning of 61 runs from 41 balls and stayed on the crease until the 18th over. Meanwhile, the tournament’s highest wicket-taker Renuka Singh Thakur registered the best bowling figures of 2/25 in four overs from the Indian side. 

On the other hand, India also suffered an early heartbreak while chasing as the star opening duo of Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma got out early at the clock. Then the newest promoted Number 3 Jemimah Rodrigues and the Blues skipper Harmanpreet Kaur stabilized the Indian innings and had an astonishing partnership of 96 runs for the third wicket. It was followed by a middle-order collapse of Indian innings and the Blue batters were not able to prolong their stay on the crease.

Kaur arrived at the crease when the scoreboard was 22 for two down but then she took over and brought them to the winning position before throwing her wicket in the 16th over. At one point, India was just 44 runs away from the target having eight wickets in hand but went on to lose all the remaining wickets inside 34 runs. The Women in Blue got all out on 152 during the third delivery of the final over and lost the gold medal match by a mere margin of nine runs. 

It is the first-ever podium finish for the Indian Cricket contingent at the prestigious stage of the Commonwealth Games. Australia, whose Men’s team won the silver medal in 1998 CWG Kuala Lumpur, has finally accomplished their ‘Mission Gold’ in the mega event.