Megan Schutt ranks Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold-winning victory as one of the best of her career, saying the reality of what the team had achieved at Edgbaston was only just starting to sink in.
Australia’s cricketers narrowly missed out on the honour of claiming the country’s 1000th Games gold – that moment went to the netball Diamonds a little over an hour later – but win No.999 was just as sweet for the 29-year-old pace bowler.
But Meg Lanning’s team can now lay claim to women’s cricket’s new ‘trifecta’, as holders of both the ODI and T20 World Cups and now, Commonwealth Games gold medallists.
“It’s absolutely special,” Schutt told reporters after Australia sealed the thrilling final-over victory over a gallant India.
“It means a lot more than what I thought it would before these Commonwealth Games.
“Being a part of them has been much more uplifting than what I thought and to have the medal ceremony at the end there, it’s a completely different feeling to a World Cup and one that I’ll hold forever.”
The manner in which Australia were forced to fend off India, whose charge towards Australia’s total of 8-161 was led by Harmanpreet Kaur’s swashbuckling 65, made the win particularly satisfying for Schutt.
India continued to take it up to Australia even after the captain’s dismissal in the 16th over, and needed 11 from the last before Jess Jonassen claimed the final wicket to bowl them out with three deliveries remaining.
“That was absolutely crazy. One of the best games I’ve been a part of by far,” Schutt said.
“The way we scrapped at the end there, that definitely that wasn’t our best game.
“We didn’t field the best, we didn’t bowl the best and we scrapped with the bat but we fight, that’s what we do and once we got Kaur (out), we knew we were a hot shot, so that was a fantastic game of cricket.”
A unique aspect of cricket at the Commonwealth Games was the awarding of a bronze medal, which was claimed by New Zealand when they thrashed England by eight wickets on Sunday morning.
They won that match despite a 12-hour turnaround from their semi-final loss to Australia the previous evening, and had to wait until after the evening final to receive their medals.
The toll of a largely sleepless night was obvious when television cameras captured Amelia Kerr and Fran Jonas snoozing in the very rowdy Edgbaston crowd during India’s chase.
For Schutt, having the White Ferns present alongside Australia on the podium, particularly her close friends and former Adelaide Strikers teammates Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine, made the moment even sweeter.
“(That was) really special,” she said.
“We do have a tight bond with them and to see them on the podium was absolutely beautiful.
“I obviously have a soft spot for a few of them in their team but I think the whole team is beautiful, their culture is beautiful and they represent everything that’s good about cricket.”
2022 Commonwealth Games
Australia’s squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington
See all the Commonwealth Games cricket squads here
Group A: Australia, India, Pakistan, Barbados
Group B: England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka
July 29: Australia beat India by three wickets
July 31: Australia beat Barbados by nine wickets
August 3: Australia beat Pakistan by 44 runs
Semi-finals: August 6
India beat England by four runs
Australia beat New Zealand by five wickets
Bronze medal match: New Zealand beat England by eight wickets
Gold medal match: Australia beat India by nine runs
All matches played at Edgbaston Stadium. Watch live or on demand via 7Plus
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