England bowlers rattled India’s top-order early to leave the visitors reeling in the series decider before eventually restricting them to a sub-par total that they chased down with ease in Bristol. India were down to 35 for 5 by the halfway stage and needed a late stand between Richa Ghosh and Pooja Vastrakar to take them past the 100-run mark. They got 122 for 8, which proved insufficient on the day.
Asked to bat first at the County Ground, India lost each of their top five batters for single-digit scores, including ducks for S Meghana and Hemalatha. Twice India tried to break free from the rubble – first through a fifth-wicket alliance between Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma and then between Sneh Rana and the latter, but on both occasions, England nipped it in the bud. India were down to 52 for 6 in 13 overs when Deepti was joined by Richa Ghosh.
The pair added 23 off the next 19 deliveries but Deepti fell next for a 25-ball 24, leaving India susceptible to a sub-100 total. But then came the best partnership of India’s innings – worth 28 runs for the eighth wicket between Richa and Vastrakar. But despite India hitting 16, 12 and 15 in the last three overs – thanks to Richa’s 22-ball 33 and Vastrakar’s 11-ball 19* – they finished with an underwhelming total of 122 for 8.
England openers Dunkley and Danielle Wyatt wiped out more than half their target with the first-wicket partnership. Sneh Rana gave India the first breakthrough in the 10th over and England stuttered briefly as they lost two wickets in the next two overs to go down to 79 for 3. Though Dunkley was gone – for a 44-ball 49 – out stepped Alice Capsey to take charge of the chase. She hit six fours on her way to an unbeaten 38 off 24 while Bryone Smith played perfect ally to her as the duo got the team over the finish line in the penultimate over.