Cricket at the Commonwealth Games is now at its business end and today the first semifinal saw England and India lock horns. India were off to a flyer, but quick wickets had their run-scoring slowed down a bit but got the required finish which saw them post a competitive total. England in reply had their noses ahead for the maximum period, but when it mattered the most in the crunch moment they failed to deliver and had their dreams of contesting in a gold medal match come crashing with a marginal defeat.
1st innings : India – 164/5 (20)
India having won the toss opt to bat first and were off to an absolute flyer of a start with Smriti Mandhana taking complete responsibility for punishing the English right from ball 1 and in no time a 50(27) run opening stand was on board which saw Smriti Mandhana score 46 of those. She then got to her 50* off 26 balls and Shafali Verma on the other end watching the carnage had India wicketless at the end of powerplay with 64 on board. Just as Shafali too on the other end was starting to get going, Freya Kemp made an instant impact by dismissing Shafali Verma on 15(17) and the opening partnership of 76(47) saw curtains. A wicket got another as Sciver struck Mandhana on 61(32) and India at halfway mark were 79-2. Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues stitched a crucial partnership that had India’s carnage take a little pause, but the odd boundary never stopped. It was Freya Kemp with the breakthrough again and was the big one of Harmanpreet Kaur on 20(20), wicket courtesy, Maia Bouchier who diving forward, full stretch hung on to complete the wicket and India at 15-over mark were 115-3. The pair of Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues again stood up to India’s rescue and stitched a timely 53(38) partnership that came to an end with the wicket of Deepti on 22(20) off Katherine Brunt in the final over. Looking for a couple, Pooja on the non-striker end was run-out having not faced a ball and a boundary of the last ball had India close out on 164 with Jemimah Rodrigues unbeaten on 44(31), again delivered when India wanted it the most. England had Freya Kemp with a couple in her 3 overs top the wickets chart that saw Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver with a wicket each follow.
2nd innings : England – 160/6 (20)
England in reply started the way they would have wished with a 15 run over as Sophia Dunkley got going in good fashion but only until Deepti Sharma was on in the 3rd over as she struck Dunkley on 19(10). Alice Capsey then joined Danni Wyatt who decide not to let go of a good start and did just that with confidence as England finished their powerplay on a score of 58-1. Sneh Rana was in and a massive mixup got Alice Capsey to walk back on 13(8) and it wasn’t long before England lost their 3rd as Sneh Rana struck Danni Wyatt on 35(27) and England at the halfway mark were 86-3. A struggling Nat Sciver was joined by Amy Jones who got going well and sucked pressure off Sciver and England at the 15-over mark with the help of a couple of decent overs got to 117-3. A much-needed 15-run over saw the duo get to their crucial 50-run stand but wasn’t a lot post as Sneh Rana’s reintroduced lead to yet another run-out and Amy Jones on 31(24) had to walk back. England requiring 27 of 12 did get a much-needed 13 run over but lost Sciver as a sharp throw from Mandhana proved enough for India to inch closer to victory. With 14 required off 6, Sneh Rana was on to bowl and dismissed Brunt on 0(2) and a last ball 6 too couldn’t help England as the side fell short by 4 runs closing out their 20 on 160. India had Sneh Rana with a couple and Deepti Sharma with a wicket to her name on the wickets chart. Special mention to Deepti Sharma as she finished with figures of 4-0-18-1.
An intriguing game of T20I cricket which saw the Indian team hold their nerves and deliver in a crunch moment that has them confirm a medal by making it to the gold-medal match. Unwanted run-outs really has been the only difference in both sides’ play today. England gutted on this poor outing stand a chance to redeem themselves as they’ll now be contesting in the Bronze medal match.
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