Indian women beat England to enter the Commonwealth Games cricket final

By Kersi Meher-Homji

A medal is certain for the Indian women’s cricket team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. If they beat Australia in the final, they will wear gold medals. If they lose they will have to be satisfied wearing silver medals.

So let’s congratulate the Indian team led boldly by Harmanpreet Kaur. They beat a strong England side by four runs in a thrilling semi-final.

India scored 5 for 164 runs in the allotted 20 overs thanks to opening batter Smriti Mandhana’s 61 and Jamimah Rodrigue’s unbeaten 44.

At one stage it appeared that England would win as they needed only 33 runs off 24 balls for victory with skipper Nat Sciver and Amy Jones batting aggressively. But Indian spinners Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma kept the England batters in check. And they just fell four runs short of their winning target.

To quote Shashank Kishore from CricInfo, “For Harmanpreet playing for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games means a lot and a favourable result in the final can change a lot of things for the game in India.”

Speaking after India’s heart-stopping four-run win in a seesaw semi-final against England at Edgbaston last night, Harmanpreet Kaur, now India’s all-format captain, said the result was possible because of the players’ immense self-belief and their never-say-die attitude. For the record, this was India’s first win in a knockout game in a T20 International competition outside the Asia Cup.

“It means a lot for us, we’ve been working hard for so long,” Harmanpreet said. “This is a great platform for us. Participating for the first time [in the Commonwealth Games], if we can do well [in the final], a lot of things can change for us. We never thought or wondered what we are playing for and what we aren’t playing for. [Gold] medal coming or not coming isn’t in our hands. We just want to play well. The way we’ve played so far, we’ve learnt a lot.”

In the other semi-final Australia (5 for 145) narrowly beat New Zealand (7 for 144) by 5 wickets with only three balls remaining.

The final will be played tonight between traditional rivals Australia and India. Will it be “Aussie Aussie Aussie; oi, oi, o” or “India jitega, jitega”?

Short URL: