As it happened: Heartbreak for Women in Blue

Kate Cross scalps two wickets in final over as the Smriti Mandhana-led team goes down by 1 run.

India completed the clean sweep at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.   -  AFP

Smriti Mandhana played a knock of 58, Mithali Raj remained unbeaten, but all that was not enough as England women's team clinched a 1-run win against India's women's team in the third and final T20I in Guwahati on Saturday. With this win, it completed the 3-0 sweep.

Chasing England’s modest 119 for six, the Indians had only themselves to blame as they were on course to register a consolation win after having lost the first two matches. India needed just three runs from the final over with veteran Mithali Raj well set at the crease on 30 off 32 balls, but the ODI skipper was left stranded at the other end and didn’t get an opportunity to face a single delivery in the final over of Kate Cross (2-18).

Bharati Fulmali (5 off 13) was guilty of wasting the opening three deliveries of the final over before handing Cross her first wicket, a straight forward catch to Anya Shrubsole at mid-off while trying to clear the in-field.

It was an insensible display of batting from the Indian lower-order as new batswoman Anuja Patil too try to go for a big shot in the next delivery instead of giving the strike back to Mithali, in the process getting brilliantly stumped by Amy Jones.

From three off six balls, the equation became three off one for India and Shikha Pandey could only steal a single even as Mitahli helplessly watched the drama unfold from the other end. Besides Mithali, skipper Smriti Mandhana smashed a quickfire 58 off 39 balls at the top to keep India one step ahead in the chase.

AS IT HAPPENED

But that wasn't the scene earlier. India lost opener Harleen Deol early, but Mandhana stitched a 49-run partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues for the second wicket.

But even after Rodrigues’ dismissal for 11, Mandhana stitched a 28-run partnership with the seasoned Mithali Raj to ensure that there was no slip-up. But even after Mandhana was cleaned up by Marsh, Mithali tried her best to keep India in the game. She remained unbeaten on 30, but in the final over, she never got a chance to face a single ball. That went against India.

After losing the ODI series in Mumbai last week, England clinched the T20I series in style, raising a lot of question mark on India's middle-order.

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