With the weekend turnout exceeding everyone’s expectations, the security personnel had to close the gates of the Wankhede Stadium midway through the first innings. It appeared as if India had shut itself down even before the crowd poured in on Saturday evening.
A clinical display by England combined with a lacklustre batting display meant India was bowled out for a paltry 80, its third-lowest total in WT20Is. Despite a stutter towards the end, England overhauled the target with four wickets and 52 balls to spare and sealed the three-match series.
It turned out to be an evening to forget for Harmanpreet Kaur’s gang ever since the coin landed in favour of Heather Knight. After inserting India, Knight tactfully started the game with offspinner Charlie Dean.
AS IT HAPPENED: IND-W vs ENG-W 2nd Women’s T20 Highlights
While Dean had perhaps been handed the ball to trouble left-hander Smriti Mandhana, she did the trick off the second ball by spinning one into Shafali Verma. The aggressive opener stayed on the backfoot and misread the line to be lbw.
In the fourth over, with Smriti on strike, Dean was reintroduced from the Garware Pavilion end, and the move worked again. Smriti played on the backfoot and missed one that skidded into her to be trapped in front of the wicket.
When Harmanpreet Singh couldn’t negotiate Nat Sciver-Brunt’s inswinger and Deepti Sharma nicked Lauren Bell to the keeper in the last two overs of the Powerplay, at 29/4, India was in deep slumber.
Sophie Ecclestone, the crafty left-arm spinner, then took a stunning return catch, lunging to her left to dismiss Richa Ghosh, in the next over. Jemimah Rodrigues was forced to watch the grand collapse from the other end. That she and Mandhana were the only two double-digit scores in India’s innings meant India folded up well before the allotted 20 overs.
Despite Renuka Thakur’s swing accounting for both the England openers in the third over, a 42-run partnership for the third wicket between Alice Capsey and Sciver-Brunt shut the door on India.
Substitute Amanjot’s Kaur stunning catch at covers to dismiss Capsey followed by Deepti’s two wickets off successive balls gave India a reason to smile towards the end before Ecclestone completed the formalities with a mistimed four behind the wickets off Shreyanka Patil.
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