The spin duo of Danielle Hazell and Sophine Ecclestone bamboozled Indian batters to set up a convincing eight-wicket win for England in the second ODI at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) stadium on Monday.
The emphatic victory not only kept England in contention for a maiden bilateral series win on Indian soil but also helped it level the three-match series 1-1.
The toss was perhaps the only thing that didn't go England's way. Opting to bat first, India opener Smriti Mandhana continued her run-glut, admittedly on a strip that was slower than Friday's with slightly more turn than the first ODI.
Mandhana, who was bowled off a free-hit in the third over, looked solid against the pace duo of Anya Shrubsole and Natalie Sciver, pulling the former for a six over deep-square in the fifth over.
With the left-handed duo of Mandhana and Devika Vaidya looking comfortable against pace, England captain Heather Knight - returning to the side after a hamstring injury - introduced off-spinner Hazell in the ninth over.
The move reaped instant dividend as Hazell got Vaidya to nick one to Amy Jones, who completed a sharp catch behind the stumps. Two balls later, the 29-year-old added Indian skipper Mithali Raj to her wickets tally; the ball spinning in the gap between the bat and the pad and crashing into Mithali's stumps.
The onus was on Harmanpreet Kaur to rebuild the innings with Mandhana. However, to everyone's dismay, Harmanpreet lobbed a long-hop from Hazell straight to mid-on to leave India reeling at 47 for three. Left-arm spinner Ecclestone then ran through India's middle-order without a semblance resistance.
Hazell and Ecclestone claimed eight wickets between them for a miserly 46 runs off 20 overs, with the former returning a career-best four for 32.
Such timid was India's response to England's spinners that batting for 50 overs became an impossible task. In fact, the England openers had virtually sealed the game with a blazing start in the 35 minutes before the lunch break.
Despite losing Danielle Wyatt - whose drives were a treat to watch - and Amy Jones in quick succession, Knight with opener Tammy Beaumont to see the team home amidst loud cheers from a group of schoolchildren, who enjoyed the action all through the day.
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