Favourites Australia edged India to claim gold at the Commonwealth Games cricket final in Birmingham. It was really a game the latter should have won- they were 118/2 at one stage, needing 44 off 34 balls, but the dismissal of Jemimah Rodrigues started a collapse which saw Ramesh Powar’s charges lose their last eight wickets for 34 runs, and they eventually fell nine short.
Here are our talking (analysis) points from the Australia vs India Women CWG 2022 T20 Final.
Covid positive player playing in the Commonwealth Games Women’s Cricket Final
A rather unbelievable headline, but that’s exactly what transpired, with Tahlia McGrath testing positive before the final, but Australia choosing to field her in their playing XI. It wasn’t exactly Tmac’s day though.
Tahlia McGrath performance vs India in CWG Final 2022
With bat: 2 (4)
With ball: 2-0-24-0
Fielding: Took catch of Varma, but also misfielded twice in the deep at crucial periods (went for four on both occasions)
On the balance of play, Australia would perhaps have been better not having her in the XI.
Great Indian Women Fielding performance in CWG Final
India’s Women have been a tad amateurish in their fielding displays- they were ordinary in the group game against Australia, but were absolutely world class today. Some examples of their fine work in the field
Radha Yadav run out of Meg Lanning
Radha Yadav catch of Tahlia McGrath (diving one at point)
Deepti Sharma one handed catch of Beth Mooney (stopped Australia’s charge at the end)
Mandhana run out of Jess Jonassen (direct hit)
Meghna good running catch to dismiss Grace Harris
Shafali Varma fails to take advantage of dropped catch
Given India’s relatively thin batting lineup, it was imperative that Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Varma gave them a good start. The duo got off the blocks quickly, but also fell early with Smriti bowled around her legs (after what should have been a wide from Darcie Brown wasn’t given).
Varma was given a reprieve by Meghan Schutt, but offered another chance in the same over, which Australia duly accepted.
One of Rodrigues or Harmanpreet Kaur needed to stay towards the end
India could’ve won this game comfortably- they needed 44 off 34 at one stage, then 17 off the last two overs. If one of Harmanpreet or Jemimah had stayed till the end, they would’ve probably won this- the rest simply crumbled under pressure- very similar to their 2017 ODI World Cup collapse against England.
Sneh Rana run out also a turning point
With Jemimah and Harman both gone, a lot rested on the shoulders of Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma. Unfortunately Rana was run out at a crucial juncture. A run was definitely on, but she was slow to start, then slipped a bit, and didn’t dive at the end.
Ashleigh Gardner excellent with the ball
On a day when the other Australian slow bowlers struggled, Ash Gardner was excellent with the ball, finishing with figures of 3-0-16-3. She got the dangerous Shafali in the powerplay and then bowled two overs at the end, getting rid of Pooja Vastrakar and Harmanpreet in successive deliveries.
Gardner was the main reason Australia beat India in the group stages, and coupled with her 25 (15) here, played a massive role in the final as well.