Australia beat India as women's cricket makes Commonwealth debut

Ashleigh Gardner scores unbeaten half-century, while Jess Jonassen takes four wickets

By Reuters

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Australia's Jess Jonassen takes a catch to dismiss India's Deepti Sharma. — Reuters
Australia's Jess Jonassen takes a catch to dismiss India's Deepti Sharma. — Reuters

Published: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 7:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 7:05 PM

World Champions Australia won the first women’s cricket match in Commonwealth Games history with a three-wicket victory over India thanks to Ashleigh Gardner’s unbeaten half-century and Jess Jonassen’s four-wicket haul in their T20 clash on Friday.

Chasing 155 to win in the 20-over game, Australia were in trouble at one stage having lost half their side for 49, but Gardner got them over the line in style with an over remaining.

She smashed nine fours in her 52 not out off 35 balls while Grace Harris chipped in with 37 off 20 balls before Alana King (18 not out) helped finish the job.

India bowler Renuka Singh took 4-18 in her four overs but the effort was in vain.

India had opted to bat first after winning the toss and made 154-8 in their 20 overs thanks to skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s 52 off 34 balls — a knock that included eight fours and a six — as well as opening batter Shafali Verma’s 48.

But Jonassen’s 4-22 meant that the lower order could not take them to a bigger total.

Early Group A leaders Australia face Barbados on Sunday while Pakistan meet arch-rivals India.

Cricket is returning to the Commonwealth Games after a 24-year absence with the women’s tournament.

South Africa’s men’s team won the gold medal in the 50-over competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

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