Aussie Women’s Cricket Team Power into Gold Medal Match

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Emily Collin for Commonwealth Games Australia

 

In the maiden women’s T20 cricket tournament, the all-conquering Australian Women’s Team will look to add a Commonwealth Games gold medal to the squad’s impressive trophy cabinet.

 

The Australian cricket team will go for Gold against India in Sunday’s decider at Edgbaston after narrowly defeating a spirited New Zealand by five wickets.

With 145 the required target for victory, it wasn’t all easy for Australia as the trans-Tasman semi-final showdown went down to the final over with Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris sealing the win with just three balls to spare.

White Ferns quick Lea Tahuhu (3-20) rocked Australia’s top order to keep New Zealand in the contest, but in the end the depth of the World Champions came to the fore as Beth Mooney (36), Tahlia McGrath (34) and Gardner (19no) got enough runs on the board.

Sunday’s (Monday 2am AEDT) Gold Medal match will be a repeat of the thrilling Commonwealth Games opener between Australia and India that saw the Aussies escape from the jaws of defeat.

Earlier, after captain Lanning won the toss and elected to field, it was Megan Schutt (3-20) who took the new ball in front of a packed crowd at Edgbaston and had the Australian supporters on their feet as she struck with the crucial wicket of Suzie Bates for 2 runs in the first over of the evening.

Captain Lanning threw the ball to Schutt again in the fifth over and she delivered a second breakthrough for the Australians with a trademark leg-cutter to knock over Georgia Plimmer, leaving New Zealand 2-39 at the end of the six-over Powerplay.

Captain Sophie Devine was joined by the prodigiously talented allrounder Amelia Kerr and the two steadied the ship for the White Ferns to reach 2-101 at the 15 over mark.

It was at this point that Devine signalled her intentions to go big at the back-end, launching Jess Jonassen for two consecutive boundaries.

But Jonassen had the last laugh as Devine looked to launch another one over the leg-side boundary but found the safe hands of Beth Mooney on the rope to depart for 53, putting a stop to the 73-run stand.

Tahlia McGrath joined in on the action the very next over, drawing an edge from Kerr (40) that was well-taken by Darcie Brown.

Australia finished the innings on a high as Beth Mooney threw down the stumps to run out Maddy Green on the final ball of the innings, and the total was set at 7-144, which proved to be a competitive total – just not enough to hold off the dominant Australians.

Australia will face a fierce contest for the Gold Medal against India, who upset hometown heroes England in yet another thriller at Edgbaston.

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