Led by Smriti Mandhana’s sparkling unbeaten 53-ball 79, India cruised to a comfortable 8-wicket win in the second T20I against England, in Derby, on Wednesday (September 14), to level the three-match series 1-1. Chasing 143 for a win, India overhauled England’s total with 20 balls to spare.
Mandhana, who was yet again the aggressor in the powerplay, got going with an uppish cut through the point region for a boundary, and continued to dominate the run-scoring in the half-century stand complied for the opening wicket with Shafali Verma in the powerplay. After a breezy start, she cut loose against Freya Kemp, cracking three boundaries in a space of four balls of the fifth over to assert India’s dominance in the contest.
However, a couple of wickets – Shafali and D Hemalatha – pegged India slightly back in the middle overs. While Shafali offered a return catch to Sophie Ecclestone in the last ball of the powerplay, Hemalatha was cleaned up by Davies in the ninth over, leaving India down to 77 for 2.
Harmanpreet Kaur released a bit of that pressure with couple of boundaries against Sarah Glenn early on, and then steadied the innings with frequent rotation of strike in the company of Mandhana. She even had her share of luck, which included a dropped catch by Danni Wyatt at deep mid wicket when she was batting on 18. As the alliance prospered and brought India close to the victory margin, Mandhana broke free again against Davies, cracking the pacer for three boundaries and picking up 15 runs in four legitimate deliveries to help the side over the line, with the experienced duo forging an unbeaten 69-run alliance in only 8 overs.
Earlier in the day, England looked in trouble after electing to bat first. By the third over, they had all their top order batters back in the dugout. Sophia Dunkley was tricked and stumped off Deepti Sharma, Danni Wyatt was dismissed by Renuka Singh and Alice Capsey was run out in her ambitious attempt for a third run while her partner wasn’t ready for it.
Bryony Smith and Amy Jones briefly revived England’s innings but struggled to do it at a good enough pace against the offspin duo of Deepti and Sneh Rana. Bryony was even dropped by Pooja Vastrakar at deep mid wicket in the eighth over, but she did little of the opportunity provided. Her attempt to go big again, against Sneha Rana off the next ball, backfired as Radha Yadav pulled off a superb diving catch at long on.
In her next over, Rana also had Jones cleaned up, but Freya Kemp’s counter-attack had brought life to the England innings. She clubbed three boundaries and as many sixes en route her unbeaten 37-ball 51, adding 65 runs in 48 balls with Maia Bouchier for the sixth wicket.
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