Left-arm medium pacer Komal Zanzad bruised England XI early but Board President’s XI failed to defend its modest score of 154 and lost by two wickets against the visitor in a practice game in Mumbai on Monday.
Komal who is yet to play for India, but took a spellbinding 9 for 8 against Haryana last year in BCCI's domestic one-day tournament, rocked England XI's top order with her devastating spell of 3 for 9 in her first six overs at the Wankhede Stadium.
England XI was gasping at 11 for 4 by the fifth over before Heather Knight steadied the innings with an unbeaten 64 off 86 balls and guided the team past the finish line in the 38th over.
BP XI lost wickets in clusters and was bowled out in 49 overs with lower order batswoman Minnu Mani emerging the top scorer with 28 in 57 balls.
The first to fall was the in-form Smriti Mandhana who started in aggressive fashion and struck four fours before she was caught behind off Anya Shrubsole, who picked up four wickets. After losing the second wicket, Priya Punia (15) and Harleen Deol (21) orchestrated a brief comeback but the visitor struck three quick blows to send half the side back to the pavilion with 70 on the board. Bharti Fulmali (23) and wicket keeper R Kalpana, with a painstaking 10 in 33 balls, took the score past 100 before both were packed off in successive balls spread over different overs.
Kerala's Minnu added 29 runs for the eighth wicket with Tanuja and then 14 more with last batswoman Reemalaxmi to take the tally past the 150 mark.
Chasing a modest total, England was put off by the early losses of opener Tamsin Beaumont, captain-cum-keeper Sarah Taylor and Natalie Sciver, who were gobbled up by Komal in her first three overs. Reemalaxmi dismissed the other opener Amy Jones.
England’s innings was revived by a 49-run stans between Heather Knight, who looked at ease and also struck 9 fours, and Danielle Wyatt (22). After Wyatt fell to poor shot, a 39-run stand between Heather and Shrubsole and a big contribution from Laura Winfield got England through.
The practise game will be followed by three ICC Championship 50-over contests between England and India at the Wankhede stadium on February 22, 25 and 28.
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