Well, that concludes women’s first outing in cricket – and the return of cricket after 1998 – at the Commonwealth Games. Watch tournament stories. Shashank Kishore report exists over here. I hope you enjoyed our coverage of ESPNcricinfo as much as I enjoyed bringing it all to you. Thanks for joining us! This is Sudarshanan’s signature on behalf of Alan and Vairavan. Ciao buffs!
8:32 PM The medal ceremony is about to begin. Australia, India and New Zealand take their positions near the podium – a reminder that New Zealand England fell Earlier today to ensure the completion of the platform.
New Zealand climbs to the podium first as the bronze medals are presented For each player – in alphabetical order by their second name with the captain at the end. Despite being beaten by England in their last league game, they fought hard in the semi-final against Australia to go down by a narrow margin. Within 12 hours or so, they were on the field today for the bronze medal match, giving England a taste of their own medicine.
Roaring cheers at Edgbaston as India climbs to the podium with silver medals. It was another what-if tournament but takes nothing away from this young group. Their campaign began with a narrow loss to Australia before racking up three straight victories – including a win over England for their first knockout win. On the big day, it was their gentle beating, perhaps, that came back to haunt them with a meltdown. But they can raise their heads with their spirited show in Birmingham. The wait for a world title continues…
A replica of Perry, the official mascot of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, was also presented to each player after the medals.
And now in the moment of the night.
They were the candidates who walked into the talks two years ago during the T20 World Cup on home soil. They were nominated for the highest honors at this inaugural Commonwealth Games and delivered. Australia is now on the podium as gold medals are presented to each player. Yes, their cricket system is to be credited. But not before everyone has played it and has dominated it for years now. Group leader Meg Lanning has repeatedly had a remarkably good leader – perhaps worth mentioning – not at the expense of her looks. They find ways to search from any situation and finish (so far) another turn without losing a match. Not that they haven’t been challenged; They find winners every time and can hold their heads high.
8:15 pm Back to the game. India was sailing. Harmanpreet and Rodrigues polished and nearly built a house in the middle during their 96-round suite. Australia is looking for answers and they haven’t been able to find much. All the Indin duo can see is the gaps and that too at will. But then came Shut – how many times have we seen him go through tough moments? She cleaned Rodriguez to start the parade. And in the midst of it all was a certain Gardner, who was just taking out wicket-taking balls.
You give an inch to Australia and they hold a mile. From a comfortable 2 for 118, India has lost its last 8 wickets only 34 times and there is no going back when that happens. Add to that the fact that the last Jonassen bowling game is as safe as homes. Brilliant win for Australia and they are once again – not what they need – confirming who are the undisputed champions of women’s cricket. They were the favorites, they embraced it and went so far with the eyes of the world on them.
Samyak: “Accept that the Indian women’s team doesn’t have the right kick besides the top four. How many 4s or 6s have they scored in the last seven hits in the last 15-20 games. They need a better support team too.”
Ram: “This may be India’s closest time to a historic moment in women’s cricket. Today was very unfortunate, but I think this is the team that has the best chance of getting to know the Australians from where they are.”
Sukrit: “These Indian women have come a long way. They have now consistently hammered the tournament finals for the past five to six years. That day is not far away when they knock on that door and break the Aussie-English monopoly on victories in the women’s tournaments”
8:11 pm Australia continues to win the title and now has the Commonwealth Games gold in its vaults. Talk about fightbacks and comebacks, Australia has done it – not once, twice but many times. Smiles and jumping in the pool says it all. Meg Lanning is elated and why wouldn’t she. It’s been a leader in this pace for a very long time – undisputed if I may add.
Avinash: “Just proud of the Indian women’s team… Constantly fighting a good fight with the best team in the world… I hope they cross the line soon :)”
Aamir: “How many times will we see Australian men’s and women’s teams pull such excitement into the big tournaments and win matches like this. It clearly shows how strong their teams are mentally. Well done.”
Both teams do not shake hands but have fish bumps from a distance due to the Covid-19 situation. And the first thing Lanning does after meeting the support team is to hug head coach Shelley Nitschke. Rewriting records one course at a time is this Australian group – which must be the envy of many.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”