Australia 160 for 2 (McGrath 78*, Mooney 70*) beat Pakistan 116 for 8 (Sana 35*, McGrath 3-13) by 44 runs
Pakistan were bundled out of the tournament after going winless from their three matches, meaning that the winner of the evening match between India and Barbados would progress to the knockout stages with Australia from Group A.
Dream start for Pakistan
Pakistan couldn’t have hoped for a better beginning after restricting the gold-medal favourites to 22 for 2 in the powerplay, having claimed the prized wickets of Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning, both for just four runs each.
Sadia Iqbal, playing her first match of the Games, then struck in the sixth over with a gem to beat Lanning and pegged back off stump. After six overs, Australia had found the boundary just three times and were scoring at a run rate of 3.67.
McGrath, Mooney issue wake-up call
McGrath and Mooney began to regain control, adding 36 runs in the next four overs to recover to 58 for 2 at the halfway point of the innings. After reaching 30 from 24 balls, McGrath was adjudged lbw to Iqbal when she was struck on the back pad attempting to reverse sweep, but overturned the decision on review with replays showing the ball had brushed her glove on the way through.
McGrath’s shot-placement was sublime. She stroked two fours in three balls off Sohail, muscled over cover and swept through backward square leg before moving to a 37-ball fifty in the next over with a powerful drive to the rope at long-off from the bowling of Iqbal.
Mooney brought up her fifty in 42 balls with a single off Aiman Anwer to also raise the century stand. The 19th over, bowled by Sana, went for 21 runs, including a six each to Mooney, launched over deep square leg, and McGrath finer but with plenty of power behind it. Twelve runs off the final over, by Anwer, including four from McGrath through cover off a full toss to close the innings, had Australia in command.
Pakistan’s pursuit falls flat
Pakistan were 8 for 2 after just two overs with Megan Schutt removing Muneeba Ali with the third ball of their reply, slashing straight to Darcie Brown at backward point. Brown then chimed in with the wicket of Iram Javed in the next over, skying an attempted pull to Grace Harris at short midwicket.
McGrath shines with the ball too
McGrath capped a wonderful all-round effort with three wickets, includuing two in two balls. She had Ayesha Naseem well caught by King, running round to long-on to take a high one just inside the rope.
Then she ended Maroof’s laboured innings of 23 from 32 balls when a miscued drive sailed to Jess Jonassen at mid-on and, next ball, trapped Tuba Hassan lbw playing across a straight one. When Baig left the hat-trick ball alone outside off, Healy shot a smile from behind the stumps at first slip, where Lanning stood once more, having dropped a catch there which would have given King a hat-trick in the previous match. Sana finished unbeaten on 35, but her team fell well short.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo