Australia has added Commonwealth Games gold to its ODI and T20 World Cup wins after beating India in a thrilling final at Edgbaston.
In the final of T20 cricket’s first medal-paying appearance in the Commonwealth Games, India was cruising at 2-118 in reply to Australia’s 161 when they lost 3-4 in the space of two overs.
They then lost their last five wickets in the space of 13 balls to hand the gold to the Aussies.
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The Australian camp was thrown into disarray before a ball was even bowled with all-rounder Tahlia McGrath returning a positive COVID test in the morning before the match.
The toss was delayed while the ICC determined if McGrath would play. The Commonwealth Games Federation RACEG (Results Analysis Clinical Expert Group) had already allowed her to do so.
A COVID-positive Tahlia McGrath poses with her medal after the ceremony. Photo: Ryan Pierse (Getty)
McGrath had minor symptoms, and did not sing the national anthem alongside her teammates before the match.
When not on the field, she sat away from her teammates and wore a mask. She took it off to bat, but lasted just four balls.
When she took a catch during India’s innings, she had to shoo away teammates who had come over to celebrate.
Batting first, Australia made 8-161 thanks to 61 from Beth Mooney with cameos from Meg Lanning (36) and Ashleigh Gardner (25).
Australia picked up both Indian openers in the powerplay, before a big third wicket partnership between Jemimah Rodrigues (33) and Hermanpreet Kaur (65) threatened to derail the Aussie’s plans.
Jess Jonassen of Team Australia celebrates the wicket of Taniya Bhatia of Team India to win the match and the gold medal with team mates Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy during the Cricket T20 – Gold Medal match between Team Australia and Team India on day ten of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston on August 07, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images) (Getty)
India needed just 44 runs from 34 balls when Rodrigues was bowled by Megan Schutt, before Gardner picked up the wickets of Kaur and Vastrakar in consecutive balls.
With two new batters at the crease, the Alana King and bowlers applied massive pressure before forcing a mistake between Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma.
Needing 11 of the last over with two wickets in hand, skipper Meg Lanning threw the ball to Jess Jonassen, who to that point had figures of 0-20 from three overs.
Australia celebrate as Jess Jonassen takes the wicket of Taniya Bhatia to win the match and the gold medal during the Cricket T20 – Gold Medal match between Australia and India on day ten of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston on August 07, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images) (Getty)
Indian concussion-sub Yastika Bhatia stunned the Aussies by choosing to keep the strike after hitting the first ball to mid-on where an easy single was on offer. She hit the second to long off, triggering a runout while coming back for the second.
Back on strike, Yastika then tried to reverse sweep Jess Jonassen and was struck on the pads bang in front.
They reviewed it, but to no avail. The ball was clipping the middle bail and Australia were champions.
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