Renuka Thakur’s 4/18 in vain as Ashley Gardner’s 52 not out helps Australia beat India

Fast bowler Renuka Thakur’s disastrous 4/18 spell went in vain as Ashleigh Gardner’s 52 not out helped Australia beat India by three wickets in the first Group A match of the Women’s T20 event at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston .

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur hit a 34-ball 52 and opener Shafali Verma scored 154-8 for India with a 33-ball 48, Renuka’s scintillating opening took Australia into the top four. With Deepti Sharma (2-26) dismissing Rachel Haynes, Australia were in deep trouble at 49-5 and needed 89 runs from the last ten overs.

But Ashley scored an unbeaten 52 off 35 balls with Grace Harris (37 off 20 balls) and Alana King (18 not out) hitting nine fours under pressure to propel Australia to a resounding victory on the return of cricket. Multi-sport event. They were also helped by the fact that apart from Renuka and Deepti, the rest of the Indian bowling attack had an off day.

Renuka’s devastation began with the second ball of the innings, forcing Alyssa Healy to strike a full ball outside off-stump and slammed into first slip. In her next over, she tempted Meg Lanning to cut a short and wide delivery that dipped slightly, which was caught by forward diving backward point.

Four balls later, Beth Mooney tried to bite behind point, but eventually cut her stumps. Tahlia McGrath hit three fours off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gaikwad. But Renuka dismissed him with an inswinger and dodged the stumps through the gate as Australia were reduced to 34-4 in 4.1 overs.

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The total was soon reduced to 49/5 as Haynes tried to go inside-and-out of cover. But the thick outer edge was caught by Point on Deepti’s ball. With half of the pavilion covered, Grace had other ideas in mind.

Batting in T20Is for the first time since March 2016, Grace hit five fours and two sixes against the spin of Deepti, Rajeshwari and Radha Yadav with clean hitting. He was heavily supported by Ashleigh Gardner, who put on a 51-run stand for the sixth wicket, hitting two fours off debutant Meghna Singh.

Big over to go over cover, Grace goes for the loft and Harmanpreet is caught running to her left near mid-off to take a reverse-cup catch off Meghna. Deepti took a quick catch and a bold chance to dismiss Jess Jonassen, it looked like India were on their way to victory.

But Ashley took advantage of some weak bowling in the last five overs, hitting four boundaries off Meghna and Radha. She then reached her fifth T20I half-century with a boundary diving into mid-off before Alana ended the chase with a slog through mid-wicket to help Australia snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Of.

Earlier, Smriti Mandhana gave India a good start with five fours in 3.2 overs. But on the very next ball, he edged the ball, which went off the seam and went straight to Alyssa off Darcy Brown.

Shafali was going by dancing on the pitch and lofting off-spinner Ashley’s head. He had a lot of luck, getting a drive right behind Darcy’s hands at mid-off. On the final ball of the eighth over, Shafali had another big piece of luck as Meg could not come close to taking a catch at mid-on.

Scoring 20 off 21 balls after eight overs, Shafali made 28 off the next 11 balls to take a hat-trick of boundaries off Tahlia McGrath. Despite Yastika Bhatia’s run-out as a result of the mix-up, Shafali again hit a hat-trick of fours, this time against Darcy before Alyssa was caught off Jess Jonassen’s delivery before Australia went through a review to decide in her favour. found.

From the other end, Harmanpreet warms up with a leg-side boundary from Darcy and Alana. He then took Ashley for a successive boundary – a crunched pull through deep square leg was followed by an upshot cut wide of backward point. But Jess returned to take Deepti, Jemima Rodrigues and Harleen Deol back to take 4-22.

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Harmanpreet continued to get boundaries through the leg-side to score crucial runs for her team, pulling and hitting through the gap. One of the most delightful shots was Harmanpreet dancing on the pitch to give Jess a high smack at long-on.

A cleavage from Megan’s wrist in the final over gave Harmanpreet her seventh T20I half-century. Although he and Meghan Singh fell off the final two balls, it was enough to give India a fighting total that was not enough to keep Australia away from a comeback win.

Brief Scores: India 154/8 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 54, Shafali Verma 48; Jess Jonassen 4/22, Megan Schutt 2/26) lost to Australia 157/7 in 19 overs (Ashley Gardner 52 not out, Grace Harris 37; Renuka Thakur 4/18, Deepti Sharma 2/24) by three wickets

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