CWG 2022: India Women's Fours confirm first medal in Lawn Bowls; defeat New Zealand to progress to final

Indian Women's Fours lawn bowls team (Nayanmoni Saikia, Pinki, Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey) with manager Anju Luthra (in centre). SAI Media

India have confirmed their first ever medal in Lawn Bowls, as they beat New Zealand 16-13 in the semifinals of the Women's Fours event in Birmingham on Monday.

The Indian quartet of Lovely Choubey (lead), Pinki (second), Nayanmoni Saikia (third) and Rupa Rani Tirkey (skip) created history after a comeback win over their opponents to seal a spot in the final against South Africa, which will take place on Tuesday at 04:15 PM IST.

New Zealand began the tie in stellar fashion, taking a 5-0 lead after two ends (rounds). India registered their first point in the next end, but the New Zealand quartet of Selina Goddard, Nicole Toomey, Tayla Bruce and Val Smith retained a five-point gap with a 6-1 lead after four ends.

It was the impetus for India to begin their comeback, as they racked up six points in the next four ends to lead 7-6 after eight ends were done. The tenth end saw India claim three points to take a 10-7 lead, but New Zealand came storming back with three points of their own in the eleventh end to tie the game, with four rounds to go. Two points in the twelfth end saw New Zealand take a 12-10 lead, but the seesaw contest continued with India earning two in the next end to tie the game 12-12.

India trailed 12-13 going into the final end, but after an excellent couple of throws from Pinki, hopes of a win arose. Saikia followed an excellent throw, but New Zealand came back with a stunner of a throw to negate India's three closest balls to the jack. Tirkey then proceeded to knock New Zealand's closest ball away to raise hopes once more, and ensured the medal with the final throw that earned four points, to make it 16-13 and thus ensure a first-ever medal for India in Lawn Bowls.