Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the Commonwealth Games 2022 Group A match between India and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Women’s Twenty20 International cricket couldn’t have asked for a better debut at the Commonwealth Games. World champion Australia was down and out at 49 for six with Renuka Singh, playing only her eighth T20I, wreaking a vaunted top and middle-order inside the PowerPlay with four wickets, and then a stunning counterattack by proven-performer Ash Gardner turned the tables on India. The CWG 2022 opener was never short on drama.
Earlier in the day, stylish southpaw Smriti Mandhana had started India’s innings in trademark fashion, spraying the off-side with boundaries to race to 24 off 16 balls and then edged behind to the wicketkeeper trying to slash a wide outside off delivery. Shafali Verma, the other opener, played second fiddle to her partner before exploding to finish with 48 off 33 balls. She had her skipper Harmanpreet Kaur for company, who became the first woman to score a CWG fifty when she reached the mark off 32 balls. India looked pleased with 154 for eight and was ecstatic when Renuka’s sensational opening burst of swing bowling reduced Australia to 34 for four in 4.1 overs.
Grace Harris then showed the way, attacking the spinners en route to a 20-ball 37 and emboldening Gardner to play her shots. On a day when Alana King underwhelmed with the ball, the leg-spinner struck some lusty blows with the bat, including the winning runs, as the world champion stamped its authority on yet another multi-team event.
AUSTRALIA BEAT INDIA BY THREE WICKETS WITH SIX BALLS REMAINING.
FOUR! Fifty up for Gardner off 34 balls as she steps out and drives between cover and mid-off for another boundary. Australia two runs away from victory. FOUR! King swipes across the line and beats deep square leg. Australia wins by three wickets.
FOUR! Too short and wide from Radha and cut away by Gardner, beating point to reach the boundary. FOUR! Gardner steps out and goes inside out over the covers for another boundary.
Short ball from Meghna and King slashes it behind point for a couple. FOUR! King showing her prowess with the bat here as she swings across the line and Deol misfield at deep midwicket to allow four runs. Four more next ball as this goes past the keeper off the edge of Garnder’s bat. Cut away behind point to end the over. 14 runs from the over and Australia very much in the contest here.
Australia needs 43 runs to win from 30 balls. Radha Yadav with the ball. Tossed up on leg and King flicks it behind for a single. FOUR! Gardner waging a lone battle right now. Steps out and lifts over the covers and to the boundary. Turning into her and Gardner ventures out and thumps it down the ground for one. King retains strike with a single.
OUT! And Jonassen departs as Deepti Sharma takes a sharp return catch as this was hit hard back to her on the followthrough. Alana King comes in.
Kaur will bowl now. The new batter Jonassen ends the over with a four to the square leg boundary, pulling one from wide outside off after shuffling across.
Now Gardner begins her counterattack. First punishes a full one from Meghna down the ground for four before going back and pulling to the square leg boundary for another four. OUT! Huge wicket and relief for India as Grace Harris walks back. Slower one outside off and sliced in the air by Harris and Kaur takes a brilliant catch running from mid-off.
Radha Yadav contunues. Shortish outside off and Harris cuts but finds the fielder at cover. SIX! Tossed up outside off and Harris comes down the ground and smashes this over long-on for a maximum. 14 runs from the over as Harris takes the attack to the Indian spinners.
FOUR! Full and wide outside off from Gayakwad and Harris clatters this through the covers to the boundary. FOUR! Boundary again next ball as Harris gets a thick outside edge that goes past the keeper.
SIX! Full outside off stump and Harris steps out to smack this down the ground and over long-on for six runs. Radha keeps it short and wide outside off but the batters ae unable to execute the cut shots.
Meghna back into the attack. Two well-direct short balls to Gardner. The second one beats her and there is an appeal for caught behind that is turned down. No reviews left for India though.
Deepti darts this wide outside off, Haynes shuffles across to paddle it for a couple. OUT! Wide outside off, Haynes gets down on one knee to lift hammer it through the covers but only manages it slice it up in the air and Radha takes an easy one at point. Grace Harris is in next and cuts a short and wide one behind point for a boundary.
And Renuka Singh bowls her last over. Length ball on the leg stump and Haynes pulled behind square leg for a couple. Wide down leg side next ball. Full and straight and defended back to the bowler. Full outside off, Mooney wants to paddle sweep but cannot connect well. A couple to end the over as Haynes slices this behind point.
Deepti Sharma with the ball. Rachael Haynes is off the mark with a single as she slaps one through the covers. Two more singles to end the over.
OUT! Renuka has four now, all inside the PowerPlay. Exaggerated movement inwards in the air and off the pitch and McGrath is beaten on the drive as the ball crashes into leg stump. Gardner comes in and creams a drive through the covers off her first ball.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad into the attack and is punished straightaway with three fours by Tahlia McGrath. The first two are serenely driven through the covers before the third one is sent past the bowler to the long-off boudary.
OUT! Short and wide and Lanning slices this behind point, where Radha takes a good low catch. OUT! After surviving a LBW shout Mooney has to go a couple of balls later as she chops on trying to cut behind point.
Debutant Meghna Singh from the other end. FOUR! Short and wide outside off and Lanning sends that crashing through the covers for four runs. Width again and cut to deep point for just one. FOUR! Moves away down leg after pitching on middle and Mooney nudges it behind and past the keeper for four runs. Mooney advances, Meghna goes short, and it is cut through point for a couple.
Renuka Singh Thakur has the ball and Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney will begin the proceedings for Australia. Length on off stump and Alyssa chops this behind point for a dot ball. OUT! Huge wicket and it is Healy who was to go. She pokes at this full delivery outside off and gets a thick outside edge to first slip. Captain Lanning is in next and cuts the first one behind point for a couple. Mooney is also off the mark with two, pulling in front of square. A couple of wide balls in the over as Renuka misses her line a bit.
Australia needs 155 runs to win from 120 balls.
Scutt to bowl the final over. Radha chips the first one short of long off for a single and Kaur is back on strike. FOUR! A crafty boundary this one as Kaur gets down to sweep this from wide outside off and flicks it to the boundary behind square leg. Fifty up for Kaur off just 32 balls. A couple more for her with another sweep to deep square leg. OUT! Kaur is bowled around her legs off a full-toss that drifts down leg-side. OUT! Debutant Meghna Singh swings across the line and is caught in the deep at square leg off the last ball. Two wickets off the last two balls of the innings and India has 154 on the board.
FOUR! Deol makes room outside off and lifts the ball with ease for four runs. OUT! Gone next ball and Jonassen has her fourth wicket. Radha Yadav is in next. She gets off the mark with a single off her second ball with a flick to square leg. Kaur goes for the sweep again but gets some glove on it before the ball jams into her helmet and the physio is out for the routine concussion check. SIX! Audacious and maximum! Kaur steps out next ball and hammers this fullish ball over long-on for a humougous six.
King bowls out. First ball sweep from Kaur and gets a top edge that falls in vacant land in the deep square leg area for a couple. FOUR! Straying on the pads and swept to fine-leg by Kaur for four runs. FOUR! Another boundary to end the over as Kaur moves to the off side and hammers a pull to the square leg fence.
Schutt into her third over. FOUR! Kaur gets on one knee and slog sweeps this to the midwicket boundary, dragging it from outside off. A couple of runs for Deol, who lofts over the bowler’s head and down the ground. Mooney dives valiantly at long-on but cannot hold on to the catch. Cut away but straight to the point fielder.
OUT! Rodrigues steps out and thumps this floated delivery by Jonassen straight to mid-off. Jemimah Rodrigues c Beth Mooney b Jess Jonassen 11(12b 1x4). OUT! Deepti Sharma comes in and walks back in the same over as she hands a straightforward catch back to Jonassen. Harleeon Deol comes in.
Two back to back boundaries for Kaur as Gardner comes on for her final over. First she stays back, gets in line of the ball and pulls to the square leg boundary and then perfectly times a slash behind point for four more.
Alana King with the ball again. FOUR! Rodrigues goes inside out over covers with an open face of the bat and beats long-off for a boundary. 100 runs up for India in 13.2 overs. Tossed up outside off and driven by Rodrigues through mid-off for just a single. Very loud appeal for LBW and Lanning goes up for the review. Kaur went down on one knee to sweep this across the line. Close call as the ball is hitting off stump but it is umpire’s call and Kaur survives. King now comes around the wicket and Kaur sweeps again, and finds one at deep square leg.
Gardner returns for her third over. Just three runs from the over as the batters play and miss on a couple of occasions.
OUT! Shafali sweeps and gets some glove on the ball before Alyssa takes a sharp one behind the stumps to complete the big wicket. The umpire had turned the appeal down, but thankfully for Australia, Lanning decided to go upstairs. Shafali Verma c Alyssa Healy b Jess Jonassen 48(33b 9x4). Jemimah Rodrigues comes in and starts off with a single. One more to end the over.
FOUR! Loose ball down leg side by Brown and Kaur helps it on its way past the keeper and to the boundary. Short, drifting down leg, and Kaur pulls this to fine-leg where Schutt puts in a fine dive to save three runs. FOUR! Shafali is nutmegged as she moves outside leg and Brown follows her with a yorker. But there is enough inside edge on this to make it run away to the boudary behind. FOUR! Smashed down the ground for more more. FOUR! Pulled and just wide of mid-on and three fours in a row now.
OUT! Unfortunate dismissal for Yastika, who guides the ball to midwicket, takes off for the single, is sent back mid-pitch, slips, and is found short at the striker’s end as Alyssa doesn’t make a mistake this time in whipping off the bails. In comes skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. FOUR! Full toss first ball and Kaur paddle sweeps this to the fine-leg boundary. Goes for the paddle sweep again next ball but just one this time. Two more singles to end the over.
FOUR! Tahlia McGrath into the attack and Shafali flicks this length ball to the square leg boundary. FOUR! Full toss and this is smashed past the bowler for consecutive boundaries. FOUR! Three in a row. But this was lucky as Shafali gets an outside edge that doesn’s stick in the keeper’s gloves. Leading edge next ball with Shafali closing the face of the bat too early but the ball goes over the infield on the off side for a couple. There is an umpire review for a stumping but Shafali survives as Healy has whipped off the balls with the wrong hand! Two singles to end the over.
Jess Jonassen into the attack. Shafali takes a single off the second ball. FOUR! Full and straight and Yastika employs the slog sweep and finds four runs at deep midwicket. Shafali takes a single as 50 comes up for India in 7.3 overs. Varma skies this high into the air and survives as there is a horrible miscommunication at mid-off involving captain Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney.
Leg-spin after the PowerPlay as Alana King has the ball. FOUR! Turning into middle and leg first ball and Shafali gets enough of an edge as she turns it down behind the keeper for four runs. Yastika finally off the mark with a single as she pulls behind square for a single. Three singles to end the over. Nine runs from it. Shafali lofts the last one just short of the long on fielder.
Verma continues to attack. FOUR! Too full from Schutt outside off, begging to be hit, and Verma lifts this down the ground to the boundary. A shimmy down the track and flicked on the on side for a single off the last ball. That brings the PowerPlay to an end.
Gardner continues. FOUR! Shafali steps out first ball and thumps this over the bowler for four runs. Yastika steps out but is cramped for room a bit and ends up driving back to the bowler. Five dots for her now without a run. Unleashes a reverse sweep off the last ball of the over but finds the fielder. No runs from six balls for Yastika.
FOUR! Slightly short from Brown and Mandhana rocks back and pulls this to the square leg boundary with a cracking sound of leather on willow. FOUR! Walks down and lofts this over mid-off and to the fence. OUT! And gone! Width outside off, a bit of away movement, and Mandhana edges behind trying to slash hard. Smriti Mandhana c Alyssa Healy b Darcie Brown 24(17b 5x4). Yastika Bhatia comes in and almost departs first ball in a similar fashion, slashing away from the body outside off. She is beaten outside off again next ball, going for the cut. Three dots to end the over.
Ash Gardner introduces spin in the PowerPlay. FOUR! Mandhana steps out first ball and elegantly lofts this over mid-off for her third boundary. Five runs from the over and Shafali - the hard hitter - seems to be playing second fiddle here.
Mandhana advances down to Megan Schutt a bit and misses trying to drive on the off. FOUR! Streaky but runs to the boundary. Driven uppishly, just wide of cover and beats the fielder to run to the boundary. Dropped! Low full toss outside off, Mandhana looks to carve it behind point but ends up slicing it to Haynes, who times her jump well but cannot hold on to the ball. Varma on strike for the first time. She takes a quick single at mid-on. One more for Mandhana to end the over.
Mandhana and Shafali are out to open the innings for India. Darcie Brown has the ball. First ball coming up. Full just outside off and Mandhana drives this to mid-off for a dot ball. One slip in place for the left-hander. Length this time on leg and Mandhana defends. FOUR! Low full toss and Mandhana pierces the gap between point and cover and to the boundary. Length again on the pads and Mandhana fends it with ease. Beaten! A bit of extra bounce this time and Mandhana misses the hack across the line. FOUR! Loose ball on leg-side and Mandhana swivels and pulls to fine-leg for a single.
INDIA VS AUSTRALIA PLAYING XI
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ash Gardner, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown.
TOSS: India has won the toss and elected to bat first. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur confirms the team will go with three spinners and two medium pacers.
Meghna Singh is set to make her T20I debut today. The toss is coming up in just over five minutes.
BCCI President Ganguly to attend India vs Australia CWG 2022 opener
When India’s women’s cricket team begins its Commonwealth Games against Australia at Edgbaston on Friday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly is expected to attend the fixture.
“Yes, I will be there tomorrow for the game,” Ganguly told Sportstar on Thursday.
The former India captain, who is currently in the United Kingdom, is likely to attend a few matches of the Indian team and is expected to watch some other events as well.
Women’s cricket is making a debut in the Commonwealth Games and the Harmanpreet Kaur-led team is gearing up for the challenge against Australia. On the eve of the tournament opener, Harman expressed her excitement about the Games and described how life was at the Games Village.
“Life (experience) in the Village is different from the other tournaments we play, because wherever you go, you have to carry your card otherwise nobody is going to recognise you. Your card is everything. We are getting used to this condition,” Harmanpreet said.
However, the Indian team will be skipping the opening ceremony as it has a morning match against Australia.
After the opening challenge against Australia, India will be up against Pakistan on Sunday. While there is excitement about the fixture, the Indian team does not want to take any added pressure.
In 1998, the Indian men’s team had featured in the Commonwealth Games, but cricket was discontinued thereafter. And after 24 years, the Women in Blue has a chance to script history!
As the Commonwealth Games ushers in a new dawn for Women’s Cricket, read here about India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur wanting her side to adopt a “killing attitude”.
“Whenever we are training and practising, we are trying to create that mahaul (environment). We keep talking about that killing attitude, and right now, we are working on that. Australia is a good team, but I can only talk about my team. The killing attitude is something we all are working on…”
India and Australia will square off in the Commonwealth Games opener as Women’s T20 cricket makes it debut at the quadrennial event at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday.
India and Australia are favourites to advance to the semifinals from Group A, which includes Pakistan and Barbados. While India, fourth in the ICC rankings, is coming off a 2-1 series win in Sri Lanka last month but will have its task cut out against top-ranked Australia, which is on a five-match winning streak and hasn’t lost a T20I since March 30 2021.
IND-W VS AUS-W DREAM11 FANTASY TEAM
Wicketkeepers: Alyssa Healy
Batters: Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Varma
All-rounders: Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Deepti Sharma, Tahlia McGrath (c)
Bowlers: Jess Jonassen, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Alana King
Team Composition: AUS-W: 6: 5 IND-W Credits Left: 0.0
WHERE AN WHEN TO WATCH INDIA VS AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2022 LIVE?