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Day one – what happened at the games

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham began in style with a colourful opening ceremony before athletes got down to business.

England began their campaign by collecting the first medal on offer, with Alex Yee winning gold in the men’s triathlon. It was a busy day and it will get busier as more and more sports are played and concluded.

Here is what transpired on day one according to the guys at Birmingham 2022.

CRICKET

World champions Australia survived a major scare to beat India by three wickets in the first ever women’s T20 match at the Commonwealth Games.

Ashleigh Gardner proved to be the hero for Australia with 52 not out from just 35 balls to see her side to their target of 155 with six balls to spare.

Australia had slipped to 49 for five as Renuka Singh Thakur claimed four for 18 to put India in the box seat after captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s 52 and Shafali Verma’s 48 guided them to a competitive 154 for eight.

But Gardner kept her nerve and was supported by Grace Harris, who made 37, and Alana King’s unbeaten 18 to get the favourites off to a winning start.

Australian women run to the field for their T20 cricket match. Picture: Birmingham 2022 Facebook

In the evening match, Kycia Knight and captain Hayley Matthews hit half-centuries as Barbados claimed a 15-run victory over Pakistan to kick off their Group A campaign.

RUGBY SEVENS

Samu Kerevi scored a hat-trick of tries as Australia’s men opened their Rugby Sevens campaign with a dominant 62-0 win over Jamaica.

New Zealand began the defence of their title in style against Sri Lanka, but England, bronze medallists three years ago, suffered a shock opening 34-0 defeat to Samoa before beating Sri Lanka 47-19.

In the women’s competition, Gold Coast bronze medallists England thrashed Sri Lanka 57-0 in their opener – but lost 26-19 to Canada in their second match – while defending champions New Zealand started with a 45-7 win over Canada.

Action from the rugby sevens, England v South Africa. Picture: Birmingham 2022 Facebook

Fiji men and women’s teams have done well winning all games so far. It looks like a Pacific dominated event. Australia, Fiji and New Zealand also laid down markers with big wins over South Africa, Scotland and Sri Lanka respectively.

NETBALL

Four years on from their incredible 52-51 final victory against hosts Australia, England began the defence of their netball title with a strong 74-22 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Eleanor Cardwell netted 30 goals and Joanne Harten contributed 30 more for the Roses.

England coach Jess Thirlby said: “Trinidad and Tobago are tricky to play against – they’re great at disrupting our flow, which we struggled with in patches.

“But in the main, what I saw was great impact off the bench and us problem-solving with real purpose.”

Australia’s quest to regain the title started in fine fashion, with a resounding 95-18 win over Barbados.

BASKETBALL 3X3

In the opening match of the day, Canada men claimed a 15-12 victory over Kenya with Bikramjit Gill top-scoring with five of their points before Scotland eased past Sri Lanka 16-9, while the Scots edged Canada 21-20 later on as Kenya beat Sri Lanka 21-18.

Alex Wilson claimed seven points as Australia women saw off Scotland 21-9 and Kenya recorded a 21-8 triumph over Sri Lanka.

Scotland’s Robyn Love (L) vies with Australia’s Georgia Inglis (R) during the Women’s Wheelchair 3×3 Basketball event on day one of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 29, 2022. Picture: Glyn Kirk / AFP

In their second match of the day, Scotland eased past Sri Lanka 21-5 as Australia overcame Kenya 21-15.

England men stormed to a 17-2 wheelchair basketball victory over South Africa in their Group A opener, while the host nation women’s team also celebrated a walkover win was they saw off Kenya 20-1.

In the evening action, Australia men edged Canada 13-11, while their women’s side saw off Scotland 12-5.

BADMINTON

England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith kicked off the badminton mixed team event in style as England completed a 5-0 win over Barbados.

Smith said: “We already have the home crowd advantage, so if you add this sort of feeling to it, it is going to make a huge difference for us. If it’s sold out tomorrow, it’s going to be unbelievable. The atmosphere is electric.”

Malaysia, silver medallists four years ago, and Singapore also began with 5-0 wins. The hosts added another 5-0 victory over Mauritius with Malaysia and Singapore also winning by the same score line in the evening.

HOCKEY

Olivia Shannon scored three goals as New Zealand’s defence of their women’s hockey crown began with an astonishing 16-0 win over Kenya.

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets with members of the New Zealand hockey team during a visit to the Athletes Village at The University of Birmingham in Birmingham, central England, on July 28, 2022, on the eve of the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Phil Noble/ Pool / AFP

New Zealand racked up 49 shots to Kenya’s one in a show of complete dominance. Scotland beat South Africa 4-2, while India and Canada saw off Ghana 5-0 and Wales 4-0 respectively in Pool A.

The men opened their accounts in the evening session with England easing past Ghana 6-0 and there was a 5-5 draw between New Zealand and Scotland.

TABLE TENNIS

Reigning women’s team champions India beat South Africa 3-0 in their Birmingham 2022 Group 2 opener, with Gold Coast silver medallists Singapore also beating bronze medallists England 3-0 in Group 1.

In the men’s team competition there were 3-0 wins for medal contenders India, England, Nigeria and Singapore.

LAWN BOWLS

Scotland claimed bragging rights with a 23-12 win in their para men’s pairs opener against England.

Lawn bowls is where Pacific nations are competing. Cook Islands won a bronze in 2018. Picture: Birmingham 2022

There was also success for Scotland, defending champions, in the men’s triples, racking up wins over Malta and India, while Gold Coast 2018 silver medallists Australia claimed big wins over Niue and the Cook Islands.

BOXING

Australia’s Billy Polkinghorn claimed a knockout victory over Fabio Taryll Liam Roselie of the Seychelles inside 30 seconds to rush into the light welterweight round-of-16, while Wales’ Taylor Bevan also won by knockout after beating New Zealand’s Onyx Lye in his light heavyweight bout.

SQUASH

Leungo Katse of Botswana set up a tie with top seed and defending champion Joelle King of New Zealand after beating Zulema Chisenga of Zambia 3-0, while Jade Pitcairn of the Cayman Islands takes on Birmingham-born Sarah-Jane Perry – the 2018 runner-up – next after seeing off Jada Smith-Padmore of Barbados.

MORE NEWS:
Pacific colour on show at Comm Games
The Pacific’s big Commonwealth Games hopes

In the men’s competition, Niall Engerer came out on top following an all-Maltese clash between fellow Commonwealth Games debutant Kijan Sultana to set up a clash with New Zealand’s top seed and world number two Paul Coll, who won silver four years ago.

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