Emily Collin for Commonwealth Games Australia
The uber talented duo of Tahlia McGrath and Beth Mooney have overcome a shaky start by the Aussies to lead the side to a convincing victory over Pakistan today.
Tahlia McGrath has lived up to her reputation as one of the best all-rounders in world cricket by helping Australia recover from a shaky start to secure a thumping 44-run win against Pakistan and secure their spot at the top of Group A.
McGrath, straight after whacking a game-changing 78 not out with the bat, followed up with a three-wicket haul at Edbgaston and narrowly missed out on a hat-trick.
Already guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals, Australia will face the second-placed team from Group B in Saturday’s knockout, which will be decided by Thursday’s match between England and New Zealand.
After an unconvincing start from Australia’s top order, McGrath and Beth Mooney (70) were able to rebuild in spectacular fashion with a 141-stand, Australia’s third-highest T20I partnership.
It was yet another stunning display from in-form allrounder McGrath, who now averages 169.50 after a third half-century in just her sixth T20I innings.
Opener Mooney, one of Australia’s most consistent performers and the No.2 ranked T20I batter in the world will be buoyed by her chanceless innings after scores of 10 and 2 in Australia’s opening two fixtures.
Alyssa Healy’s lean T20I run continued at Edbgaston.
She was dropped at first slip off Diana Baig’s over, but Pakistan were not made to pay as Fatima Sana sent Healy back to the dugout for 4 in the second over.
Not long after, captain Meg Lanning joined Healy in the dugout with the same score next to her name after being undone by a beauty from offspinner Sadia Iqual.
With the scoreboard reaching just 2-22 after the first six overs, the second-lowest Powerplay total of the tournament so far, it was over to McGrath and Mooney who steadied the ship and through the middle overs and escalated at the back-end to post a huge 2-160, the second highest total of the tournament so far.
The Pakistan batters, needing something remarkable to chase down Australia’s imposing total, struggled to make inroads as the Australian bowlers took hold at Edgbaston.
South Australian opening combo Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown took a wicket-apiece in the first two overs, reducing Pakistan to 2-8.
Alana King’s hot form continued as she snared a wicket with her very first ball, clean bowling Omaima Sohail with a beauty.
Captain and opener Bismah Maroof dug in with a gutsy 23 and was joined in the 13th over by Fatima Sana who added a quickfire 35 from 26 to finish unbeaten, but 44 runs short of the required total.