Seamer Renuka Singh Thakur ripped the Australian top-order apart to put India in the ascendancy in their Commonwealth Games 2022 opener at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Friday (July 29). Her immaculate swing bowling blew a fancied Australian top-order away within no time, leaving them reeling at 34/4 at one stage.
Defending 154, India got off to the perfect start, with Thakur sending down an outswinger to induce the outside edge of Alyssa Healy. There wasn’t to be any pyrotechnics from the superstar wicket-keeper batter today as she departed for a second-ball duck.
The wickets kept tumbling as the Himachal-born seamer snuffed out skipper Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath. The last of those was an unplayable inswinger that decked back in to castle McGrath’s stumps, leaving the world champions in all sorts inside the powerplay.
Fans on Twitter went gaga over Thakur’s accuracy and movement, calling it a spell for the ages. Here are some of the reactions:
Grace Harris leads Australia’s fightback after Renuka Singh Thakur scalps four wickets
Renuka Singh Thakur was given four overs on the trot and she finished with impeccable returns of 4.0-0-18-4. Her swing with the new ball reduced the Australian top-order to rubble before Deepti Sharma prized the wicket of Rachael Haynes soon after.
However, a belligerent counter-attack led by Grace Harris and Ashleigh Gardner put the chase back on track. Harris was the aggressor between the two, striking at almost 200 while Gardner played second fiddle through the course of their 51-run partnership.
Earlier in the day, a flamboyant 34-ball 52 by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led India to a competitive total of 154/8 after the side won the toss and elected to bat. Jess Jonassen was the pick of the bowlers for the Aussies with 4/22 off her four overs.
At the time of writing, Australia are 100/6 in 13 overs with Harris holing out to Harmanpreet off the bowling of debutant Meghna Singh. The world champions still need 55 to win off the remaining seven overs in this Group A clash.
Can India go on to clinch gold in the cricket event at the Commonwealth Games 2022? Let us know in the comments section!