McGrath continues T20 domination at Games

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Once pigeon-holed as not being suited to T20 cricket, Tahlia McGrath is now treating the format as her personal playground, producing Bradman-esque numbers to somehow strengthen an already dominant Australian side.

McGrath smeared an unbeaten 78 off 51 balls to power Australia to a 44-run win over Pakistan in the final group game of their Commonwealth Games campaign, and they now await either England or New Zealand in Saturday's semi-finals.

McGrath's innings, part of an unbroken 141-run stand for the third wicket with Beth Mooney (70 off 49 balls) that propelled Australia to 2-160, lifted her career average to an astonishing 169.5 - staggering figures considering how long it took her to break into the side.

After making her ODI debut in November 2016, McGrath had to wait almost five years to play her first T20 international.

"Starting my international career I was probably pigeon-holed as a 50-over player purely because my strike wasn't where it needed to be at," McGrath said.

"That was a massive focus for me over a couple of pre-seasons. To be at 150 (strike-rate) now, I don't know how long I can keep it there, but I'll try my best.

"There was a couple of tours where I'd be a part of the 50-over side and then would be out of the squad halfway through a series.

"I didn't like that, I wanted to be part of the Aussie squad for the whole series and all these multi-format series now, I want to be a part of every game."

Given her more than handy contributions with the ball, with McGrath picking up 3-13 off three overs as Pakistan meandered to 8-116 off their 20 overs in reply to Australia's 2-160, the 26-year-old is now becoming a key cog in an Australian machine which is looking to add Commonwealth gold to T20 and ODI World Cup triumphs in recent years.

But it is with the bat that she is making the greatest impact, the 26-year-old having now only been dismissed twice in six innings at T20 international level, with five scores of 42 or more.

"She just seems really clear on her role in our team and has got some great clarity on her own process within her own game," Mooney said of McGrath.

"She just comes out and takes the pressure off the other batter out there and that was me today, which I was really grateful for."

McGrath joined Mooney at the crease with Australia wobbling at 2-19 in the sixth over, and their two most influential batters - Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning - back in the sheds.

The pair proceeded to whack Pakistan's bowlers all around a sparsely-populated Edgbaston as they set a new Australian record for the third wicket in T20 internationals.

Mooney's innings was anything but second fiddle - she belted eight fours and one six as she thrived off the momentum generated by McGrath.

At 2-58 after 10 overs, they accelerated brilliantly to add 102 off the last ten overs, McGrath finishing with ten fours and one six.

Long-odds to chase down the target before they walked out to bat, Pakistan's chances dimmed when they lost opener Muneeba Ali in the first over, and wickets fell at regular intervals as the asking run rate quickly moved to more than ten an over.

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