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A thumping fifty with the bat! A game-changing wicket of Mandhana with the ball. Take a bow, Nat!
02:00am IST: Well, that's it folks. England wins by 18 runs (by D/L method) as heavy rain rescinds further action at Northampton. And with yet another clinical outing, Heather Knight & Co. take an unassailable 8 to 4 point lead in the series.
01:51am IST: India had a slow but firm start to its chase. Moments before Mandhana's tame dismissal, India was ahead of the D/L par score. The skipper Kaur's fall yielded another blow and with the rain continuing to pelt down, this one's clearly heading the host's way for the moment. India will be concerned with Kaur's torrid run and the captain will have to find a quick fix to galvanise the middle-order of the Indian side that relies much on herself, Mandhan and Shafali.
01:30am IST: Covers take over the entire square. We have 20 minutes before we begin to lose overs and the rain continues to stay strong at the moment.
This could well be an irritating wait as rain continues to pelt down at the moment. Things just get better for England with each delayed minute as it sits well past the D/L par score. However, Knight's pack would have wanted to seal the game with full-fledged cricket.
IND 54/3 in 8.4 overs: Oh, snap! The heavens have opened up quickly at Northampton and we are set for a rain delay. The heap of wickets means India will be 18 runs behind the D/L par score.
IND 51/3 in 8 overs: Fifty up for India at the cost of its three premier stars. Mady Villiers rushes through the over in a flash and the England spinners have shown they are well at par if not better than their Indian counterparts.
IND 47/3 in 7 overs: Glenn to Kaur. OUT! A dolly for Ecclestone at mid-off! Kaur steps out as Glenn zips one in quickly. A nothing shot as she falters to get any power on it. A regulation catch for Ecclestone as she is all over the field at the moment. India fall into complete disarray in a snap. Kaur c Ecclestone b Glenn 1(2)
Sarah Glenn is into the attack
IND 44/2 in 6 overs: Sciver to Mandhana. OUT! Oh Smriti, what have you done? Sciver is ecstatic and why wouldn't she be! A couple of looseners has Mandhana free her arms and smash to the boundary. Sciver follows them with a quick bumper that has Mandhana stretch on her toes for the pull. Poor shot after finding two boundaries and the Indian opener presents a simple catch to Ecclestone at backward square. Mandhana c Ecclestone b Sciver 29(17) [4s-6]
Sciver is back
IND 35/1 in 5 overs: Ecclestone darts one outside the off-stump and Mandhana nails the slog-sweep to the boundary. The batters are yet to hit the top gear, but has made the most of the loose balls that have come their way.
Ecclestone into the attack
IND 28/1 in 4 overs: Harleen finds her groove with a stellar flick over mid-wicket. Davies offers width and Deol sneaks three more runs from the over.
Freya Davies into the attack, replaces Sciver
IND 21/1 in 3 overs: Exquisite touch-play from Mandhana! Brunt offers a hint of width and Mandhana rocks to her back-foot to find the space behind point for a boundary and repeats the same off the next delivery. Harleen has a tough time finding her feet as another leading-edge falls just outside the reach of the mid-on fielder.
IND 10/1 in 2 overs: Mandhana pummels Sciver's fuller delivery outside off over mid-off for four. Sciver is quick to check her line and manages to find the leading edge off Mandhana, only to have it race over the keeper.
Nat Sciver from the other end
IND 3/1 in 1 over: Brunt to Shafali. OUT! Cleaned 'em up! What a start for England! Shoddy stuff from Shafali as she moves away from the stumps towards the on-side and freezes in her side. Brunt swings the ball in to hit the top of the stumps as Shafali paves the way for it. Bizarre. Was she expecting the short stuff? Maybe, but Brunt has the big fish and she deserves all the credit for keeping Shafali iffy in her short stay. Harleen comes into join Mandhana. Brunt continues to bend the ball with quite an angle and she manages to beat Mandhan's outside edge. A half-hearted appeal from the bowler but her skipper has already referred it upstairs. The replays suggest Mandhana is free from a nick and England loses a review in the first over. Shafali Verma b Brunt 0(2)
Katherine Brunt with the new ball.
The chase begins! In walk Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma as a chirpy England side storms to the field.
Right, it will be interesting the Indians assess their performance at mid-innings. From the outside, it has been a stellar performance Harmanpreet and Co. - they were spot on from in the Powerplay with the ball and the fielding has found itself at a whole new level this evening. India, however, failed to flounder a determined Nat Sciver whose sole aim was to bludgeon the ball to all corners of the park. Sciver's measured stroke-play, lacing brute with finesse saw her rack up the
fastest fifty by an England batter in T20Is. The Indians have their task cut out and the openers Shafali and Mandhana have a serious job on their sleeves.
ENG 178/7 in 20 overs: 12 runs off the final over as Ecclestone waltzes Deepti for a massive six over mid-wicket. Brunt falls off the final ball as the batters attempt to sneak in an extra run off an overthrow. A flurry of wickets for India towards the fag end but England will be confident with 178 runs on board! The last five, six overs have been nothing short of absolute top-draw cricket! Katherine Brunt run out (Sharma/Yadav/†Ghosh) 2 (2b)
ENG 166/6 in 19 overs: Pandey has THREE in the over! A blinder from Harmanpreet at long-on! Sciver slog towards long-on but flaws in timing, perhaps the only loose shot from her blade this evening. Well, it's the slower one from Shikha but the ball was nevertheless zipping towards Harmanpreet who leaps forward at full-length to complete a stunning catch inches away from the green.
Well, we have another ripper here!This time it's Harleen Deol at long-off! Pandey pushes in another slower-one as she sees Jones advancing off the crease. Jones goes for the slog nevertheless and Harleen stretches well on the boundary line to have a feel off the ball as she trips over. Harleen manages to lob the ball up and completes a stunning dive back in to see off Jones. We are not done yet! Richa Ghosh steps up close behind the new batter Dunkey and Pandey manages to flummox her with a bumper. Ghosh's manic glovework has her rattle the bails just in time when Dunkley loses her balance to have her back-foot off the crease. What an over has this been for the Indians.
Sciver c Kaur b Shikha Pandey 55(27) [4s-8 6s-1], Amy Jones c Deol b Pandey 43 (27b 4x4 2x6), Sophia Dunkley st †Ghosh b Pandey 1 (2b)
Shikha Pandey back into the attack
ENG 159/3 in 18 overs: 50 up for Sciver! Goodness me, what an innings this has been, right from ball one. Beating the pulp out of the Indian bowlers who seemed to just have found momentum with three quick wickets. Jones caps the over with a textbook six down the cover to keep the runs flowing.
ENG 149/3 in 17 overs: 45 runs off the last three! Jones adding the perfect foil to Sciver, matching well in attack. Sharma darts the ball into Jones who finds room to go inside-out over extra cover to fetch four. Jones advances again and heaves the fuller ball over the long-on boundary with the ball partially brushing Sneh Rana's stretched hand.
ENG 136/3 in 16 overs: Sciver unleashed! Arundhati Reddy who is back into the attack is taken for quite a ride as Sciver finds three boundaries on the trot to power England into the driver's seat once again. Just brute batting from Sciver as she pummels the ball down the ground twice to the fence with another creaming the deep cover boundary!
ENG 120/3 in 15 overs: Runs coming thick and fast for ENG! Jones latches onto some loose toss-ups from Radha outside-off. A reverse sweep and a swanky pull has her enter the party. Poor bit of bowling from Radha here and Jones adds another boundary off the final delivery. Another loosener outside off and Jones drills it through to point.
ENG 104/3 in 14 overs: 100 up for England and Sciver has ensured the momentum is still with the host despite three quick wickets. Just delectable strokeplay with brilliant dissection of the field. Poonam keeps a relatively good check on her length and England has a fairly quiet over.
ENG 99/3 in 13 overs: Rana falters this time. Sciver is just an absolute treat to watch with those cracking step-down shots down the ground. She advances twice and both result in splendid boundaries to the ground. Rana errs by continuing with the same line and the England no.3 has cashed in well.
1600 T20I runs for Sciver - fourth England batter to the mark
ENG 87/3 in 12 overs: Deepti to Knight. OUT! The skipper is run out! This is a top-notch effort from the bowler. Knight advances too much outside the crease and the ball falls straight to Deepti who darts the ball back to the keeper in a flash. Young Richa makes no mistake as she smashes the stumps to leave Knight hanging outside the crease. Excellent from India as it claws back slowly to regain momentum. Knight run out (Deepti Sharma/Richa Ghosh) 6(10) [4s-1]
ENG 84/2 in 11 overs: Top-start for Rana. Just two runs conceded off that over as she finds the spot rightaway.
Sneh Rana replaces Poonam Yadav as we move past the half-way mark.
ENG 82/2 in 10 overs: Classy from Sciver! She is unfazed by the quick slip-ups around her as a classic lofted cover-drive sails all the way for six. Yadav a bit expensive here as the England skippers finds a boundary off the slog sweep as well in the over.
ENG 71/2 in 9 overs: Poonam to Beaumont. OUT! Beaumont holes out to long-on! Poonam gets it right finally and the gentlest fuller delivery has Beaumont test her power down the ground. Beaumont steps out and half-heartedly goes for the slog, only to find Mandhana at long-on who completes an easy catch. India finally have their reward for some concerted effort on the field to start the evening. Beaumont c Mandhana b Poonam Yadav 18(22) [4s-1]
ENG 62/1 in 8 overs: Radha to Wyatt. OUT! Radha strikes rightaway! Wyatt goes for the cheeky reverse scoop as Yadav finds a hint of turn on it. Richa Ghosh gobbles it up nicely and goes up instantly. The umpire is unmoved and Harmanpreet goes for the review. Replays suggest a faint edge and Radha Yadav has a T20I wicket for the 27th consecutive match! Nat Sciver comes in and nonchalantly aces an elegant back-foot punch through point to the boundary. Wyatt c Richa Ghosh b Radha Yadav 31(28) [4s-3]
Radha Yadav into the attack..
ENG 56/0 in 7 overs: 50-up for England! The openers have built on beautifully after seeing off a initial haze. Poonam continues with her moon-balls and has one being called out as a no-ball.
Poonam Yadav replaces Pandey
ENG 48/0 in 6 overs: Deepti into the attack and nearly gets Wyatt first-up. A good tossed up delivery and Wyatt manages to lob down the ground, inches away from Sharma's reach. The openers have deftly had their look in and has built a solid start for England.
Deepti Sharma into the attack
ENG 37/0 in 5 overs: Wyatt finally finds her range! Pandey into her third and continues to hit the pads. Wyatt is ready for this one and pounces on it with a classy glance off her pads to the fine leg boundary.
ENG 28/0 in 4 overs: First boundary of the England innings! Beaumont takes Reddy off from the middle-stump and flicks it over the vacant mid-wicket for a boundary. Will that ease the pressure on the openers? Wyatt continues to apply minimal footwork as another slog finds the edge and flies over the inner circle on the offside this time.
ENG 17/0 in 3 overs: Uncharacteristic start from the English openers. More to do with some tight bowling from the Indians first-up. Hardly, anything outside the off-stump to let the batters free their arms. Wyatt seems to be a touch too rusty and her recent performances in the domestic circuit should be able to help her see through this initial nagging phase on her comeback.
ENG 13/0 in 2 overs: Streaky from Wyatt and India nearly gets her! A wry slog away from the body from Wyatt and Reddy's second delivery goes high up in the air over the keeper, only to fall between three fielders before nearly trickling down to the boundary. Beautiful line of attack from Reddy as she squares up Wyatt with an in-swinger off the final ball.
Arundhati Reddy on from the other end
ENG 6/0 in 1 over: Pandey gets some appreciable swing first-up and perhaps a little too much on offer for the pacer. Pandey strays onto the pads as Wyatt and Beaumont exchange strike with a couple of singles.
Shikha Pandey up with the new ball
Game ON! Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont walk out for England as Harmanpreet and Co. quickly take the field. Overcast conditions loom over Northampton and the floodlights are lit up already.
So, Jemimah's poor run has kept her off an instant spot back in the T20I side. Harleen takes the top-order slot and young Richa Ghosh takes over the wicket-keeper's role from Taniya Bhatia. Meanwhile, Knight's England has packed a solid lineup. It also welcomes Danni Wyatt back at the top. Freya Davies also gets a game as Anya Shrubsole makes way. All to play for as six points are up for grabs in the series.
TOSS: India wins the Toss, elects to bowl
The world's no.1 T20I bowler looks set for tonight! An enticing clash against the world no.1 batter, Shafali Verma is pretty much on the cards!
After a thrilling Test match to lift the side's spirits, India was exposed to its usual frailties in the 50-over format. The top-order comprising Mandhana, Shafali (debut) and Raut/Jemimah struggled to impose themselves over an incisive English attack. The ODI skipper Mithali was in the spotlight once again as she soaked in all the pressure to stave off bizarre collapses in the series.
India barely squeezed past 200 in the first couple of one-dayers as the batters failed to push the pedal on scoring with intent. The woes kept piling on as Harmanpreet Kaur failed to provide the much-needed impetus in the middle while the bowling attack hardly nudged Heather Knight's side.
The lack of adequate time in the middle for months was trouble and India slowly regained shape over the course of the three ODIs and added two points to the bag with an eventual triumph in the final ODI on Saturday.
Come the T20Is, India will be aiming to build on the momentum as the road to next year's T20 World Cup is deftly simmering. Harmanpreet remains the focus of the side - both for her tactics and approach this time around besides her form with the willow on the field. No Jhulan Goswami to add a bit of thrust up-front with the leather.
India will hope to briefly plug the gap with its existing resources in Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy and Pooja Vastrakar while positive spin bowling will once again be the difference between a win and playing catch-up with a solid England line-up.
How the points table stands -
6 points up for grabs in the remainder of the series.
Where are the teams playing?
The first T20I will be played at County Ground, Northampton.
Where to watch - telecast and live streaming details?
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