Women T20I Series: England whitewash India with dramatic victory
Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: A solid captain’s knock from Smriti Mandhana went in vain as England today won the third match of the Women T20I Series against India in a nail biting finish at the ACA Stadium, Barsapara here today.
Chasing 120 runs to win India scored 118-6 in their 20 overs. Host required only three runs in the final over to win the match and there were six wickets in their hand. But they just managed to score only one run thanks to a terrific bowling from Kate Cross, who later adjudged player of the match.
With this victory England clinched the 3-match T20I Series 3-0.
India used six bowlers in the game and surprisingly five of them were spinners. The decision worked extremely well. England, opted to bat, scored at a rapid pace at the initial stage of their innings and once they were 46-0 after the end of the fifth over.
But from that point Indian spinners completely turned the table. In the next five overs, England lost three wickets on way to add only 8 runs. India continued good work by taking wickets on regular intervals thereafter too and it forced England to score 119-6 in their 20 overs.
Both openers Wyatt (24) and Beaumont (29) added 51 runs on the first wicket partnership in same number of balls. Jones (26) was the other major contributor in the innings.
Among the Indian bowlers Anuja Patil (2-13) and Harleen Deol (2-13) came out with the best figures.
Chasing a relatively low total, India captain Mandhana led from the front. Although India lost Harleen (1) at the early stage of the innings but captain Mandhana repaired the damage nicely adding 49 runs on the second wicket with Jemimah Rodrigues. Later she added another 28 runs with Mithali Raj and almost ensured team’s victory.
But things changed after Mandhana’s (58, 39 balls, 4X8, 6X1) exit. Mithali thereafter tried her best to take India home with unbeaten 30 from 32 balls. She hit two boundaries on 18th over and another in the 19th to give big smiles to nearly 10,000 spectators who thronged into the stadium to watch the game. India required just three runs in the final over but Mithali was forced to stand at the non striking once Kate Cross started the final over of the match. The bowler bowled a magnificent spell and didn’t allow even a single in the first five balls of the over.
Bharti Fulmali, facing Kate, failed to connect properly first three balls and in the fourth one she lost her wicket. In the very next ball India lost another wicket in the form of Anuja Patil (0) and it took India to score three runs from the last ball. Shikha Pandey, who faced the last ball, scored a single and India suffered one run defeat in the tie.
Later talking to the media persons Indian captain Smriti Mandhana admitted that she was very disappointed on the result of the game. “It was really disappointing. We should win the tie. Batswomen must take more responsibility.”
On the other hand England captain Heather Knight felt the match was a brilliant for the crowd.
Commenting on Cross’s last over, where she spent only one run, Knight said, “She was outstanding. Bowled exceptionally well in that over.”
Brief scores: England 119-6 (20 overs), Wyatt 24, Beaumont 29, Jones 26: Anuja Patil 2-13, Harleen Deol (2-13), India 118-6 (20 overs), Smriti Mandhana 58, Mithali Raj 30 (no), Cross 2-18.
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