BIRMINGHAM, England, Aug 6 (Reuters) – India’s women’s cricket team reached the final of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after beating England by four runs in their 20-over semi-final clash on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 165, England looked to be in control when captain Nat Sciver (41) and wicketkeeper Amy Jones (31) formed a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket, before Jones was run out in the 17th over and Sciver was run out in the 18th.
Sneh Rana bowled a tight final over, picking up a wicket, to finish with 2-28, while Deepti Sharma took 1-18 as India secured their berth in the gold medal match.
Earlier, opener Smriti Mandhana smashed 61 from 32 balls before Jemimah Rodrigues scored an unbeaten 44 from 31 deliveries to guide India to 164-5 in their 20 overs.
Favourites Australia will take on New Zealand in the second semi-final later on Saturday as they look to take a step closer to a Commonwealth Games gold medal to add to their T20 and one-day international World Cup triumphs.
Cricket has returned to the Commonwealth Games this year after a 24-year absence with the women’s event. The South African men’s team claimed the last Commonwealth Games cricket gold medal, in a 50-over format, in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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