Danielle Wyatt blows India away in record chase

India's highest T20 total of 198 and hopes of making the tri-series final was flattened by Danielle Wyatt's 63-ball 124.

Danielle Wyatt celebrates her century in T20 tri-series cricket match between India and England at Brabourne stadium.   -  Vivek Bendre

Australia’s Meg Lanning, England’s Heather Knight and India’s Harmanpreet Kaur said over the past four days that a total of 180 would be a par score at the Brabourne Stadium. As predicted by the trio, the pitch for the Twenty20 tri-series turned out to be a true featherbed and a batting paradise.

India W vs England W - As it happened

There were glimpses of fluent batting and powerful hitting seen in the previous two matches between the home team and Australia and then, between the latter and England.

On Sunday, India’s Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur and England’s Danielle Wyatt batted with freedom, and their wonderful deeds with the bat resulted in a world record chase being accomplished by England and took its winning streak against India to match No. 8, starting from March 2010.

Women’s Twenty20 centuries

Deandra Dottin (West Indies, 112 * v South Africa, Basseterre, May, 2010 and 112 v Sri Lanka, Coolidge, October 2017), Danielle Wyatt (England, 100 v Australia, Manuka Oval, Canberra, November 2017 and 124 v India, CCI, March 2018), Meg Lanning (Australia, 126 v Ireland, Sylett, March 2014), Beth Mooney (Australia, 117 * v England, Manuka Oval, Canberra, November 2017) and Shandre Fritz (South Africa, 116 * v Netherlands, Potchfestroom, October 2010)

For the second match running in this tournament, India was given a roaring start by Smriti, but England came up with a riposte that flattened a target of 199 with eight balls to spare. It was in her match no. 73 - eight years after she made her Twenty20 debut – that Danielle made the big splash hammering a 57-ball Ashes winning 100 with 13 fours and two 6s against Australia last November at the Manuka Oval in Cannberra.

On the weekend holiday, the 26-year-old reproduced that power and form - and with the boundary line pulled in - Danielle’s shots raced to the fence 15 times and over it five times as she raced to a 64-ball 124.

All the Indian bowlers, from speedsters Jhulan Goswami and Pooja Vastrakar to the spinners Anuja Patil, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma, suffered under the onslaught of the Staffordshire girl. Danielle dominated the six-over power-play, that delivered 67 runs, and the second wicket stand with Tasmin Beaumont, that produced 96 runs.

The match began with England electing to field, and after watching Mithali Raj play her customary forward press and hit a couple of boundary shots on either side of the wicket off Natasha Farrant, the 21-year-old left-hander Smriti exploded into action against both the seamers and spinners.

Mithali, too, stepped up the scoring rate as India reached 52 for no loss at the end of the power-play and the 100-run stand in the 11th over. It was the second time, Mithali and Smriti joined forces to get involved in a century-plus start.

A superb catch by Tasmin at point brought an end to Smriti’s knock that had the potential to go beyond three figures. Mithali holed out to Jenny Gunn after which Harmanpreet took time to settle down before hitting three 4s and one 6 on her way to make a 22-ball 33.

India changed the batting order, promoting Pooja Vastrakar and it was because of her fierce display that the total went close to the 200 mark, the second highest in women’s Twenty20 after South Africa’s 205 for one against the Netherlands at Potchefstroom in October 2010.

"Earlier we were struggling to make 150, today we made 198. We were confident at the break, but we also knew it was a pure batting wicket and that we needed to work on our bowling. We could not make it today because, we could not bowl enough dot balls,’’ said Harmanpreet. 

India will play Australia on Monday in what is a dead rubber for the home side.

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