Commonwealth Games 2022: Mandhana, Rana shines as India women beat England women by 4 runs in a thriller; march into final

Xtra Time Web Desk: All-rounder Sneh Rana showed nerves of steel as she restricted England women from scoring 13 runs required off the last over to reach the final of women’s T20 cricket at Edgbaston ground on Saturday. Rana gave away only 9 runs as Harmanpreet Kaur and her team sailed into the final of women’s T20 cricket which was included for the first time in 24 years at the Commonwealth Games 2022.

Needing 165 to win, England were cruising along at 132 for 3. The hosts required only 33 runs off 24 balls but off-spinner Rana (4-0-28-2) bowled extremely well. She gave away only 3 runs in the 18th and 9 runs in the final over. England finished at 160 for 6 and even a last-ball maximum from Sophie Ecclestone couldn’t save the day for the hosts. Earlier in the day Smriti Mandhana played a blinder as she smashed 32-ball-61. Jemima Rodrigues once again displayed cool head as she scored 44 runs. While Mandhana had eight fours and three sixes in her knock, Rodrigues had seven fours to her credit, mostly using the gaps in arc between point and extra-cover. 

Rodrigues and Deepti added an invaluable 53 runs for the fourth wicket partnership. Deepti Sharma too chipped in with 22 off 20 balls Deepti Sharma (4-0-18-1) and Pooja Vastrakar (3-0-20-0) didn’t err in line or length under pressure.

Smriti Mandhana was brilliant in the field as well as she combined with Taniya Bhatia to pull off a brilliant run out of the dangerous Nat Sciver to change the course of the match. It was then left to Rana to bowl at least five good balls that assured a medal for India in the inaugural edition of women’s cricket.