World champions Australia Women cricket team defeated the Women in Blue by nine runs in a thrilling battle to win the gold medal in the inaugural edition of Women's T20 at the Commonwealth Games 2022 on Sunday. While, Australian women delivered clinical performance in the match to clinch the gold, inclusion of Tahlia McGrath in the playing XI surprised everyone as she had tested positive for COVID-19.
McGrath was a leading run-getter for the gold medallist side before the final as she added 126 runs, and picked eight wickets in four games at CWG 2022. Cricket Australia stated that board had consulted with the Commonwealth Games Federation RACEG (Results Analysis Clinical Expert Group) team and match officials ahead of this decision.
"McGrath was presented to team management with mild symptoms on Sunday and subsequently returned positive test. She was named in the starting XI at the toss and the International Cricket Council approved her participation in the final," read CA's statement.
The statement further made it clear that Cricket Australia media staff have implemented a range of comprehensive protocols which will be observed throughout the game and for post-match activity, "to minimize the risk of transmission to all players and officials".
McGrath's inclusion surprised many cricket fans as it was a rare opportunity when a COVID-19 positive player played a game. Check out a few Twitter reactions here:
Speaking of match, Australia posted 161/8 in 1st innings on the back of impressive batting display from Beth Mooney's 61 off 41 balls. Australian skipper Meg Lanning also made valuable contribution with her 36 off 26 deliveries. For Team India, Renuka Singh and Sneh Rana picked two wickets each as they restricted world champions for 161/8 in 20 overs.
In response, Team India had a troublesome start as opener Smriti Mandhana was dismissed in the second over of the second innings. Darcie Brown dismissed her as Mandhana could only add 6 runs off 7 deliveries. But, crucial partnership between Jemimah Rodrigues (33 off 33) and Harmanpreet Kaur (65 off 43) kept the hopes alive for Team India. But, a stunning comeback from Australian bowler spoiled India's chances of winning the gold as Ashleigh Gardner picked three and Megan Schutt picked two wickets in the game to pull off a thumping victory in the game.