Commonwealth Games 2022: Australia after defeating New Zealand in T20 cricket final

Australia rode their luck en route to the Commonwealth Games T20 cricket final, securing their place in the gold medal match despite nearly tripping with the bat on several occasions.

They come to the Queens, which you best not to miss.

New Zealand fired their best shots – first with the bat, then the ball and finally on the field – at bitter rivals Australia in Saturday’s semi-finals, only to have Ash Gardner and Grace Harris once again send off the world’s most dominant cricket team in the gold medal match.

Chasing 145 for a guaranteed medal, Australia were pushed as hard as any tournament as they went 5-145 with three balls to go to set up a delicious final against India at Edgbaston.

Australia reached the knockout rounds unbeaten, having previously only truly tested India in the opening game, but regularly found themselves in tricky situations against New Zealand.

Since it was against India, Gardner (19 not out) and Harris (eight not out) had to save Australia’s bacon, came along with 16 runs required – and left with the result secured.

Veteran Sophie Devine (53/48) and young star Amelia Kerr (40/36) laid the groundwork for New Zealand’s 7-144 aggregate before Australia turned the tide with Megan Schutt (3-20) and Tahlia McGrath ( 2-30) in the leading roles.

On the field, the Kiwis shot themselves in the knee, Mooney (36), Rachael Haynes (19) and McGrath (34) all falling en route to crucial shots.

McGrath was knocked out after a brilliant stop and throw from Amelia Kerr on point – and glove work from Gaze – for 34 of 23, and Mooney threw a half-century outfield slash as Australia needed a run-a-ball from the last seven overs .

New Zealand refused to back down but Australia’s big game experience shone through.

Alyssa Healy had provided her own Adam Gilchrist moment – leaving after receiving a light punch in the legs from Lea Tahuhu, followed by an explosive 14-run cameo at the head of the order.

Earlier, India upset hosts England by four runs, with star opener Smriti Mandhana scoring a stunning 61.

Nat Sciver (41) and Amy Jones (31) nearly steered England home but a trio of run-outs cost the devastated home side big bucks.

Instead, they play against New Zealand for the bronze medal.

Originally published as Commonwealth Games 2022: Australia in T20 cricket final after defeating New Zealand Commonwealth Games 2022: Australia after defeating New Zealand in T20 cricket final

Nate Jones

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