India Women suffered a humiliating defeat against Australia Women by three wickets in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 opener on Friday (July 29) at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Batting first, the Women in Blue posted 154 runs in their 20 overs. While it looked like an easy run chase for the Aussies, Renuka Singh Thakur shed fire with the new ball, taking everyone by surprise. India reduced Meg Lanning & Co. to 49/5 in just 7.2 overs, with Renuka alone accounting for four wickets. She eventually ended with figures of 4/18 in her four overs.
However, Australia held their nerves and slowly crawled their way back into the game. Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris (37 off 20) led the fight back as Indian bowlers gave freebies and lacked a proper plan.
Radha Yadav, in particular, had an off-day in business, conceding 42 runs in her four overs. Meghna Singh and Rajeshwari Gayakawad also failed to make an impression with the ball as Gardner remained unbeaten on 52 off just 35 balls to take the game away.
Fans were certainly disappointed with how the Women in Blue bowlers fared in the death overs as Australia muscled away with the first game.
Here are some of the reactions:
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur's fifty goes in vain
Opting to bat first, Smriti Mandhana took the attack to the opposition with a blistering 24 off just 17 balls. Shafali Verma pressed gears after Mandhana's departure. Yastika Bhatia, who came into bat at No.3, failed to make a mark and was run out cheaply.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur walked out to bat at No.4 and immediately made her presence felt. Riding on superlative knocks from Shafali Verma (48) and Harmanpreet (52), they posted 154 runs on the board.
Despite a superlative start to their innings, the Women in Blue were unlucky not to touch the 170-run mark, which made the difference in the end.