Barbados bow to King’s wizardry; Australia qualify for semis

Alana King celebrating a wicket © Getty Images

Alana King’s unplayable spell of 4/8 helped Australia to ease past Barbados by nine wickets and bag a semi-final spot with their second consecutive win of the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Sunday (July 31).

Australia skipper Meg Lanning won the toss and elected to field first on a wicket that looked pretty good for batting. Barbados skipper Hayley Matthews started off really well as she was able to find boundaries with ease. She leaned onto the balls that were full and outside off and creamed them to perfection. 

But eventually, it turned out to be one shot too many for Matthews as she was dismissed by Darcie Brown at an individual score of 18. She was livid at her dismissal as she knew that she had missed out on a valuable opportunity to get some runs under her belt.

Matthews’ dismissal put some extra pressure on Deandra Dottin, who was already struggling to get going and forced her to execute a false stroke. She attempted to dab Alana King on the leg-side behind square, missed it, and was adjudged plumb in front of the stumps.

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Dottin’s wicket bolstered King’s confidence. Smelling blood, King ran through Barbados’ batting line-up and obliterated every bit of it. She was a tad unlucky to miss her hat-trick in the 15th over as Lanning shelled a regulation catch in the slip.

King finished her four-over spell with majestic figures of 4/8 and it helped the World Champions to restrict Barbados to a mere 64 runs in 20 overs. Pace bowler Tahlia McGrath was also exceptional with ball in hand as she picked up a three-wicket haul herself.

In pursuit of 65, Australia were pegged back early in their innings as Shanika Bruce claimed her first international wicket in the form of Beth Mooney as she got her stumped in the second over. Bruce’s wicket brought jubilation to the Barbadian players but it turned out to be their last for the match. 

The pair of Alyssa Healy and skipper Lanning got into the act and hammered the Barbados bowlers to all parts of the park as and when they erred in line and length. Australia eventually romped home by nine wickets and 71 balls to spare as both Lanning and Healy remained unbeaten.

Brief score: Barbados 64 all out in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 18; Alana King 4/8) lost to Australia 68/1 in 8.1 overs (Meg Lanning 36*, Alyssa Healy 23*; Shanika Bruce 1/7) by nine wickets; POTM: Alana King