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Commonwealth Games 2022: The Indian women's cricket team scripted history today with a strong knock by Smriti Mandhana and tight bowling by Sneh Rana confirming a medal in their first-ever outing at the Commonwealth Games, even as they clinched a thrilling 4-run win over England in the semifinal.

India put up a total of 164/5 in their 20 overs, while batters Smriti Mandhana (61) and Jemimah Rodrigues (44) were the top scorers for India and Freya Kemp was the pick of the bowlers with 2/22, news agency ANI reported. Chasing 165, England looked in contention to win the match. A great 54-run stand between skipper Nat Sciver (41) and Amy Jones (31) threatened to take away the match from Women in Blue, however, India managed to hold their nerves and defended 14 runs in the final over to win the match by four runs, the report said.

Opting to bat first, openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma gave India a great start to the CWG 2022. Verma was the less aggressive of the two and Mandhana, on the other hand, was sending the ball to the boundary frequently. Freya Kemp gave England the breakthrough and broke the 76-run stand by dismissing Verma for 15 off 17 balls. Mandhana had brought up her half-century and was dismissed just moments after her partner. She fell to Nat Sciver, the English skipper for a quickfire 61 off 32 balls with eight fours and three sixes, the report said.

Jemimah Rodrigues was next up on crease. She built a 29-run stand with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (20) and a 53-run stand with Deepti Sharma (22). Kamp got her second wicket of the match by dismissing Kaur while Katherine Brunt removed Deepti. Pooja Vastrakar fell for a duck due to an unfortunate run-out. Rodrigues (44*) off 31 balls took India to 164/5 at the end of their 20 overs, according to the report.

Kemp was the pick of the bowlers for England, taking 2/22. Sciver and Brunt took one each. England was off to a shaky start. Deepti Sharma removed Sophia Dunkley for just 19 off 10 balls when the team was at 28 runs. Danielle Wyatt and Alice Caspey attempted to rebuild the innings but their stand was broken after Caspey was run out for just 13 runs, the ANI report said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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