Wyatt, Elwiss eke out consolation win for England

While India women clinched the series 2-1, it lost out on two crucial points in the ICC Women’s Championships.

Danielle Wyatt celebrates scoring her fifty against India.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and India’s women’s team learned it the hard way on Thursday as it suffered a two-wicket defeat against England, despite being in a comfortable position.

In reply to India’s 205-8, England suffered a top-order collapse, losing five wickets for 49 runs. But then, captain Heather Knight (47 off 63) and Danielle Wyatt (56 off 82) stepped up to script a turnaround for the visiting side.

SCORECARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

And riding on their efforts, England chased down the total, with seven balls to spare and ended the three-match series with a solitary win.

While this victory helped England salvage some pride ahead of the T20I series, India lost out on two crucial points in the ICC Women’s Championships.

Visitor let off the hook

After early success, the Mithali Raj-led team failed to keep the momentum going.

India’s pace ace, Jhulan Goswami, scalping three wickets, it looked quite impossible for England to bounce back. But in the middle overs, India slowed down its pace and that proved fatal.

AS IT HAPPENED

That's when Knight stitched a 69-run partnership with Wyatt for the sixth wicket to show resilience.

Even after Knight was caught behind by Taniya Bhatia off Poonam Yadav for 47, Wyatt paired with Georgia Elwiss to guide the team home.

Playing a calm and composed knock, Wyatt took time to settle down, but spread her wings as the innings progressed. Playing a key role in building two crucial partnerships, Wyatt set the tone for the side’s victory.

When she was caught by Mona Meshram off Shikha Pandey, England was just 32 runs away from the target. But with Elwiss and Katherine Brunt taking charge, England did not find it tough.

Earlier in the day, India suffered a middle-order collapse, despite a 129-run partnership for the second wicket between Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut.

After losing its opener, Jemimah Rodrigues, for a duck in the second ball of the day, Smriti and Punam stitched a long partnership. But things changed soon after the two fell. Playing her 50th ODI, Smriti was caught by Wyatt off Brunt for 66 in the 29th over, while Raut (56) was cleaned up three balls later.

Smriti Mandhana plays a shot during the third ODI.   -  Prashant Nakwe

With captain Mithali (7), Mona Meshram (0) and Taniya Bhatia (0) struggling, India lost six quick wickets for just 21 runs.

But luckily for the team, Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey stepped up, adding 47 runs for the eighth wicket. While Deepti remained unbeaten on 27, Shikha played a knock of 26 before being dismissed by Elwiss. For the visiting side, Brunt scalped a five-for, giving away just 28 runs.

Player of the Match: Katherine Brunt

Player of the Series: Smriti Mandhana

Even though India could survive the batting test, in the end, it meant very little as it conceded the game and missed out on a clean-sweep.