Indian bowlers made a valiant effort to defend a below-par total before Alice Capsey held her nerve to guide England to a seven-wicket win in the third women's T20 International. The win handed England a 2-1 series win.
In the 20 overs, Indian batters managed only 122 runs for the loss of eight wickets. Richa Ghosh (33, 22b) and Pooja Vastrakar (19 n.o., 11b) were the chief contributors. Sophie Ecclestone (3 for 25), Sarah Glenn (2 for 11) and Bryony Smith accounted for six of the eight wickets as the batters struggled against the spinners.
England reached its target in 18.2 overs. Opener Sophia Dunkley scored 49 off 44 deliveries and 18-year-old Caspey scored an unbeaten 38 that took the host over the line.
“I think we were 20 runs short. Credit to our bowlers for keeping us in the game. We just need to stick to our strengths. One needs to have a decent total in any format of the game. We need partnerships with the bat,” Harmanpreet said.
Chasing 123, the home side was off to a positive start. Openers Dunkley and Danni Wyatt (22, 23 b) shared a 70-run partnership before India triggered a collapse by snaring three quick wickets in as many overs. Spinner Sneh Rana (1 for 32) provided the first breakthrough for the visiting team as Wyatt miscued her stroke.
Dunkley, who hit six fours, followed next as she was cleaned up with by Vastrakar (1 for 16). Captain Amy Jones’ (3) stay in the middle was then cut short by Radha Yadav (1 for 14). But Capsey, considered one of England's brightest young talents, continued to attack and played shots all around the ground. She was ably supported by Smith, who remained unbeaten on 13, as the two steered England to victory.
Earlier, India slipped to 75 for 7 before Ghosh and Vastrakar joined forces to take the team to a respectable total. The openers Shafali Verma (5, 12b) and Smriti Mandhana (9, 8b) were dismissed within the first four overs.
Verma was first to go as she misjudged the pace of the delivery by Issy Wong (1 for 24), the ball deflecting off her pads on to the wicket. Smith then got the prized wicket of Mandhana as Ecclestone held on to a brilliant catch.
S. Meghana (0) and Dayalan Hemalatha (0) struggled to open their account while skipper Harmanpreet (5) also had a forgettable day. Deepti Sharma (24) tried to repair the innings along with Ghosh but the all-rounder, too, perished as she attempted to sweep left-arm spinner Ecclestone but missed, with Jones completing the stumping.
Ghosh and Vastrakar added 43 runs in the last three overs to take India over the 100-run mark.