What’s the schedule?
Medal matches, Sunday August 7, Edgbaston
Bronze medal match: England v New Zealand, 10am local (7pm AEST)
Gold medal match: Australia v India, 5pm local (2am Monday AEST)
How can I watch?
Channel Seven hold the exclusive rights for the live coverage, replays and highlights for the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Fans can keep up with the medal matches (and Australia’s pursuit of gold in every sport!) across Seven, 7mate and streaming via 7plus. Seven will be providing coverage across all the Games’ events, so for unfiltered and uninterrupted cricket coverage, your best bet is to tune in to a 7plus stream, with a dedicated T20 cricket channel here.
Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar will lead the cricket commentary team, along with Alison Mitchell, ex-West Indies cricketer Stacy Ann King and Natalie Germanos, while those who prefer radio will be able to listen to SEN, who will broadcast the live Seven commentary via their network.
What if it rains?
Fortunately, there is no rain forecast for Birmingham on Sunday. But if that does suddenly change, there is a reserve day on Monday for the medal matches.
Gold medal match: Australia v India
Edgbaston, 5pm local (2am Monday AEST, 1.30am ACST, 12am AWST)
Australia have gone unchanged throughout the tournament and that seems set to remain the case for their medal match, unless there is a last-minute injury that forces a change in tactics.
India have swapped their spinners and adjusted their middle-order but now that Pooja Vastrakar has re-joined the side followed her delayed arrival due to COVID, and given their 100-run win in their most recent outing against Barbados and semi-final victory, they are unlikely to be making many changes, if any, for the final.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alana King, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh
ICC T20 Rankings
Australia 1st; India 4th
Road to the semi-finals
Australia’s form line (most recent first): WWWW
India’s form line: WWWL
Australia advanced through the group stage unbeaten but were forced to dig deep at various stages. They recovered from 5-49 against India in their opening game to pull off a three wicket win chasing 155, thanks to a match-winning partnership between Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris. They rolled Barbados for 64 in a nine-wicket win, then come back from a sluggish start against Pakistan to put on a commanding 160, sealing a 44-run win. They were made to scrap in the semi-final and had some luck go their way with sloppy New Zealand fielding, before edging home with three balls to spare.
India thought they had Australia on the ropes in the opening match of the Games, but they learned an important lesson about the depth in Meg Lanning’s side as they ultimately suffered a three-wicket defeat. They bounced back in style, smashing Pakistan by eight wickets and Barbados by 100 runs before their thrilling semi-final win over England.
Played 24 | Australia 17 | India 6 | NR 1
Last time they met in T20Is
India 8-154 (Kaur 52, Verma 48; Jonassen 4-22) lost to Australia 7-157 (Gardner 52*, Harris 37; Thakur 4-18) by three wickets in 19 overs at Edgbaston
Players to watch
Leg-spinner Alana King has been the standout bowler of Australia’s UK tour and has five wickets already these Commonwealth Games. The batters have shared the spoils, but Tahlia McGrath looks to be finding good all-round form, having taken eight wickets in the last three games alongside her unbeaten 78 against Pakistan.
For India, Renuka Singh Thakur – the architect of Australia’s top-order collapse in their group stage meeting – took nine wickets in three group-stage games and will be hoping for a repeat of her four-wicket haul from that opening match of the tournament. Smriti Mandhana is starting to show her best, and was the key to India’s fast start in the semi-final with her 61 from 32 balls.
So how do they stack up?
India generally are consistently inconsistent, but one thing they do have a knack of is regularly challenging Australia. They were overawed on the biggest stage in the 2020 T20 World Cup final at the MCG, but tested the world No.1s during their multi-format series in late 2021, again during the one-day World Cup group stage, and had Australia on the ropes in the group stage at these Games. They will throw everything at the Aussies – but Meg Lanning’s team will equally be buoyed by their fighting win in the opening match of the tournament, where they proved they can win from anywhere. They have the confidence and the experience, if they can put it all together on the day.
Bronze medal match: New Zealand v England
Edgbaston, 10am local (7pm AEST, 6.30pm ACST, 5pm AWST)
New Zealand have stuck to a similar line-up through the group change, but sprung a surprise for the semi-final, bringing in debutant batter Georgia Plimmer in place of Rosemary Mair after their disastrous collapse against England.
England have already confirmed captain Heather Knight has been ruled out of the Games with a hip injury suffered during the recent T20 series against South Africa, with Natalie Sciver to continue leading in her place. Like Australia, they have remained unchanged through the Games so far so can be expected to likely stick with the same line-up.
New Zealand: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Georgia Plimmer, Hayley Jensen, Lea Tahuhu, Hannah Rowe, Izzy Gaze (wk), Fran Jonas
England: Danielle Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey, Natalie Sciver (c), Amy Jones (wk), Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Sarah Glenn
ICC T20I Rankings
England 2nd; New Zealand 3rd
Road to the semi-finals
New Zealand’s form line (most recent first): LWWL
England’s form line: LWWW
New Zealand started the tournament with an all-important win over South Africa that put them in the box seat for a return to the knockout stages of a major tournament. They were shaky at times batting first against Sri Lanka but with the help of a Lea Tahuhu cameo, were able to post a winning total. However they will need to move on quickly from their humbling defeat to England, which saw them score 9-71 from their 20 overs before losing by seven wickets. They pushed Australia in the semi-final to take the game to the final over, but ultimately were 15-20 runs short with the bat while errors in the field cost them dearly.
England were not wholly convincing in their first game, beating Sri Lanka by five wickets having been set 107 for victory, before 17-year-old Alice Capsey shone against South Africa, scoring her first international half-century to help set up a 26-run win. They routed New Zealand, restricting the Kiwis to 9-71 before chasing the target with relative ease, but stumbled in a thrilling semi-final, losing to India by four runs.
Played 29 | England 23 | New Zealand 6
Last time they met in T20Is
New Zealand 9-71 (Green 19, Rowe 10*; Brunt 2-4) lost to England 3-72 (Capsey 23, Jones 18*; Kerr 2-27) by seven wickets with 50 balls remaining at Edgbaston
For New Zealand, Hayley Jensen has been finding swing with the new ball – she credits new coach Ben Sawyer for her improvement – and will be key to picking up early wickets. Sophie Devine scored her first half-century against Australia in the semi-final and will be growing in confidence.
For England, Sophie Ecclestone has continued to prove why she is the world’s top-ranked T20I bowler, capturing five wickets and maintaining an economy rate of 4.75 through the group stage. With the bat, 17-year-old Alice Capsey has made an impressive start to her international career, hitting fifty against South Africa.
So how do they stack up?
England by all rights should be full of confidence after their huge win over New Zealand on Thursday. But the disappointment of missing out on a shot at gold could impact both teams in funny ways, and arguably the White Ferns will be more buoyed by how close they pushed strong favourites Australia, while England are fresh from a narrow defeat that left the Games hosts wondering ‘what if’.