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CWG 2022, Cricket: Heartbreak for India as Harmanpreet fifty not enough, Australia win historic Gold

India Today logo India Today 07-08-2022 India Today Web Desk
Harmanpreet Kaur Harmanpreet Kaur

It was not meant to be for India in the historic cricket final at Commonwealth Games 2022. Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front and produced a knock that reminded fans of the 2017 World Cup blitz but it was not enough for India in their chase of 162 in the women's cricket Gold medal match at Edgbaston on Sunday.

India lost to Australia by 9 runs in the final and finished with silver while Meg Lanning's Australia won the historic Gold, completing a hat-trick of major world trophies - the T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

Chasing 162, India got off to a poor start as they lost their highest-scorer in the tournament, Smriti Mandhana for 6 as early as the 2nd over. Smriti, who has been spotless at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, tried to heave one through the leg side but Australia pacer Darcie Brown came up with a clever delivery, pushed through that cluttered into the leg-stump.

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Ash Gardner then got the big wicket of big-hitter Shafali Verma for 11 inside the powerplay.

HARMANPREET PUTS ON A SHOW

However, captain Harmanpreet and young Jemimah Rodrigues, who has been in fine form in CWG 2022 after having been dropped for the World Cup earlier this year, stitched a 96-run stand in just 71 balls to give Australia a mighty scare.

Harmanpreet led India's chase from the front, taking the attack to the Australian batters, playing free-flowing cricket as the skipper looked determined to take India past the finish line. Harmanpreet Kaur hit 7 boundaries and 2 sixes as she adopted a fearless approach.

With the music of the dhols ringing around the Edgbaston Cricket Stadium, Harmanpreet Kaur put on a show with a spotless hitting display as she made sure that the asking rate was kept under control till the time she was in the middle.

However, India suffered a massive collapse as Megan Schutt triggered it by getting the big wicket of Jemimah Rodrigues (33 off 33) in the 15th over.

Ash Gardner then returned to pick up two big wickets, including that of captain Harmanpreet (65 off 43 balls) in the very next over. Gardner got big-hitter Pooja Vastrakar before Harmanpreet tried to scoop one past the wicketkeeper. However, the ball ricocheted onto her helmet before lobbing up in the air. Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy was alert to pounce it and send the India captain back.

India suffered a massive collapse as they slipped from 118 for 2 to 149 for 8.

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