India beat England in their first-ever match at the Commonwealth Games . Smriti Mandhana (61) and Jemimah Rodrigues (44*) top scorers included batters Smriti Mandhana (61) and Jemimah Rodrigues (44*) Freya Kemp was the pick of the bowlers with 222 wickets .
Birmingham, United Kingdom, August 6 : The Indian women's cricket team made history and secured a medal in their first-ever game at the Commonwealth Games by defeating England in the semifinals by a spectacular 4-run victory.India's top scorers included batters Smriti Mandhana (61) and Jemimah Rodrigues (44*).With 222, Freya Kemp was the pick of the bowlers.England was in contention to win the match after a 165-point deficit.India fought back from their nerves and took the match by four runs in the final over, though.India started off the season with a bang with openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma.Verma was the less aggressive of the two.On the other hand, Mandhana was on the move to the boundary at a regular rate. Mandhana had been up for a half-century and was dismissed just moments after her partner.She was reduced to Nat Sciver, the English skipper, for a quickfire 61 off 32 balls with eight fours and three sixes.Jemimah Rodrigues was the next up on the line.She constructed a 29-run stand with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (20) and a 53-run stand with Deepti Sharma (22). Due to an unfortunate run-out, Pooja Vastrakar fell for a duck.At the end of their 20 overs, India was able to collect 1645 runs thanks to Rodrigues (44*) off 31 balls.With 222 wickets, Kemp was England's bowler choice.Sciver and Brunt took one each. When the team was at 28 runs, Deepti Sharma dismissed Sophia Dunkley for just 19 off ten balls.Danielle Wyatt and Alice Caspey tried to resurrect the innings, but their stand was ended when Caspey was run out for just 13 runs.Sneh Rana bowled Wyatt for 35 off 27, leaving England at 813.Captain Sciver and wicketkeeper Amy Jones then went on to stitch a 54-run stand that turned back the hosts a little. In the last over, India had to defend 14 runs.Rana managed to hold her nerves and defend these last few runs as she bowled Maia Bouchier with Sophie Ecclestone at the other end.India was able to restrict England to 1606 runs in 20 overs, winning the match by four runs.Rana was the pick of the bowlers with 228 runs. Brief Scores: India won 1645 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 61, Jemimah Rodrigues 44*, Freya Kemp 222) vs. England: 1606 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 41, Amy Jones 31, Sneh Rana 228).