August 15, 2022
Commonwealth Games 2022 – Australia’s match winners team will stay for a while

Take an inch against Australia and they’ll still win by a mile. Other teams have realized this in recent years as the current ODI and T20I world champions’ depth of talent has come to bite them time and time again.

In the opening match of the Women’s Ashes in January, England got off to a great start with an opening stand of 82 to reach 169 for 4 from their 20 overs allocation. Then Alyssa Healy fell for just 7 and Australia posted 26 for 1 with only Tahlia McGrath hitting an unbeaten 91 for 144 with Meg Lanning as Australia went on to win by nine wickets. England did not win another match in that series, despite being challenged in the draw test.

Against India in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games, Australia chased 155 for 49 for 5 before Ashley Gardner and Grace Harris began a successful defense with a 51-run partnership for the sixth wicket. And when McGrath and Beth Mooney pulled Australia out of trouble at 19 for 2 to beat Pakistan by 44 runs in their final group match, the key to their success again hit home – if a player or two. fail, someone else inevitably steps in.

McGrath said after the match against Pakistan, “Initially we were in a bit of a difficult position.” “Then both Moons and I probably struggled a little early and had to work through that. Then that kind of allowed us to finally have that freedom and we got a really good total.”

McGrath has made a revelation in T20Is, being unbeaten in four of his six innings in the format, though he said his approach was not so much about the importance of his wicket.

“In T20 cricket, I go there without any fear, with a little bit of freedom,” she said. “I get to play my shots and I know the batsmen facing me are world class, which allows me to play with that freedom.

“I’ve just been lucky that I’ve got some not-outs because it doesn’t happen very often in T20s. So I’ll run it for as long as I can.”

His partnership with Mooney has also been significant, scoring 141 runs for the third wicket in this instance.

“We’re both very chill,” McGrath said. “I remember there was a game on the Gold Coast where we got stuck in traffic and it was Moons and I in the car and we literally rocked two minutes before the warm-up started. The security guard told us he was happy It was the two of us because everyone must be panicking. It didn’t bother us at all, we are very comfortable.

“We’ve batted well together now. I really enjoy working with Moons and we both recognize when each other is struggling.”

Mooney agreed: “She’s awesome to work with. I think we have a great understanding of each other and each other’s game. We’re both pretty level people.

“She just comes out and plays straight to her strength and takes some of the pressure off the person at the other end, so she’s a very impressive player and hopefully she can continue that form for a while.”

Their union against Pakistan was all the more important, as did captain Lanning, after Healy, the hero of Australia’s ODI World Cup victory, fell for four in April. In the six innings since his knock of 170 in the World Cup final against England, Healy has not crossed 23. But Mooney wasn’t worried.

“She looks great in the nets,” Mooney said of Healy. “She’s been a little unlucky. We also know that when we get to the semi-finals and finals, she steps up and is one of the best players in the world.

“So there’s no doubt in our changeroom that she’s going to show up and do it again for us. We’re really behind her and we know she has the potential to do some serious damage against the opposition, so I’m sure that he will be fine.”

With Australia setting such a high standard for themselves, Mooney warned against viewing them as a “robot” in light of “some low scores”.

Australia is also in a good place with the ball. McGrath took 3 for 13 against both Pakistan and Barbados while spinners Alana King and Jess Jonassen have been in good form.

New Zealand are well aware of Saturday’s clash in the second semi-final of the Commonwealth Games, starting at 6 pm local time in Edgbaston, Sydney at 3 a.m. on Sunday and 5 a.m. in Auckland.

After scoring just 71 for 9 in their final group game – a seven-wicket loss to England, which will play India in the second semi-final on Saturday – New Zealand captain Sophie Devine was eager to put her latest result behind her. ,

“We were below par and it wasn’t a lack of effort or a lack of planning or anything like that, I think you just get days like that,” Devine said. “It’s never good to be a part of it, but we have to throw it down very quickly and do something that’s really really exciting for us, playing in the semi-final against Australia at a Commonwealth Games.”

And Devine embraced underdog status against a side New Zealand, like everyone else, knows are capable of great things.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Australia,” she said. “They have definitely come in as favorites in this competition and are looking forward to take that gold medal, while not many people thought we would probably make it to the semi-finals.

“We can really take it on board and just play with a little bit of freedom and take it to the Aussies. We obviously know them really well, so I guess that’s our plans. Going to be great and that’s how they know us really well.. It’s always a great fight against Australians.”

Valkerie Baynes is the General Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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