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India beat England to reach Commonwealth Games cricket final

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BIRMINGHAM (AP): India’s female cricketers are within one win of a historic gold medal after beating host nation England by four runs in a thrilling Commonwealth Games semi-final on Saturday.
After posting 164-5 in the Twenty20 format, the biggest score in the tournament, India narrowed previously unbeaten England to 160-6 in Edgbaston.
It will be the first time women’s cricket will be played at the Games and backers hope that a successful tournament will lead to the sport’s participation in future Olympics. More than 160,000 tickets were sold ahead of the semi-final, a new record for a women’s cricket tournament, and another large crowd attended Saturday’s match.
Opener Smriti Mandhana hit 61 in 32 balls to set the tone for India in their innings. England captain Nat Sciver, who has called up to include women’s cricket in the Olympics, scored highest with 41 in her teams’ responses before being eliminated with less than two overs left.
India Captain Harmanpreet Kaur said: I am very happy. Everyone comes in and performs for the team. (The fans) cheered until the last ball. It was a great opportunity for all players to perform.
India will face Australia or New Zealand in the final on Sunday. England will meet the loser of that match in a bronze medal play-off. On the track, Indias Avinash Mukund Sable took India’s first-ever medal in a long-distance event.
Although he was beaten by just 0.05 seconds in the 3,000m steeplechase by Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot, who clocked 8:11.20, the 26-year-old runner felt encouraged by his silver medal-winning performance.
My last lap was a little disappointing, but I’m very happy, said Sable. India’s Priyanka Goswami also took silver in the women’s 10,000m run. After failing to win gold on Day 8, they came in a rush to lead Australia to the table on Saturday morning.
Ollie Hoare achieved a final step triumph in the 1500 meters in 3:30.12, becoming Australia’s first champion in the event since Herb Elliott triumphed at Cardiff in 1958.
He defeated world champion Jake Wightman of Scotland who led the straight into the home lane before finishing third behind Hoare and Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot.
Australia also took gold in lawn bowling, gymnastics, hiking and diving to extend its lead over England after the host nation narrowed the gap to three the previous day.

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