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IND A v ENG A 2nd T20: Issy Wong Star As England A Level The Series With A Convincing Win

The breakout star of England A, Issy Wong’s all-round heroics paved the way for a famous win at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Friday. Scoring a commendable 149/9 batting first, India A looked in good stead to defend the total but England A despite the hiccups chased it in a riveting contest.

India A won the toss and elected to bat first on the fresh Wankhede surface. Openers Uma Chetry and Vrinda Dinesh got off India to a brisk start but before they could acclimatise, the speedster Mahika Gaur got the first breakthrough for England A with Vrinda Dinesh’s wicket.

It was then Disha Kasat joined Uma Chetry who not only kept things in control but played excellent second fiddle in the innings. As Chetry was looking big to cash in on boundaries and get some runs on the board, Issy Wong got her for a well-played 26.

Minnu Mani then walked out to the middle and with the already settled Disha Kasat kept her leg on the accelerator and applied pressure on the England A bowlers not giving anything to them. However, Kirstie Gordon got her prized wicket of the skipper Mani who had struck three delightful boundaries en route to her knock of 14.

G Divya’s presence at the crease was shortlived as Mady Villiers was quick to get rid of her and the subsequent over saw Disha Kasat fall for 20 as Charlie Dean was into the attack and stuck to the game plan.

It was then the partnership sealed by Kanika Ahuja and Arushi Goel that largely helped India A’s cause as they not only kept the England A bowlers wondering about their lines and lengths but were able to complement each other wonderfully. While Kanika Ahuja went all guns blazing in her knock with five boundaries as she scored 27 off 14, Arushi Goel’s calm and composed knock from the other side seemed to help the proceedings.

India A again had a slump when the big-hitting Kanika Ahuja was adjudged out as Kirstie Gordon once again ruined the party as she got Ahuja’s RCB teammate and the much-talked-about Shreyanka Patil for a golden duck, in what was a massive setback for India A.

Even as wickets fell around Arushi Goel, her calm and composed 26 ensured India A had a total of 149/9 in their 20 overs. For England A, it was Kirstie Gordon and Charlie Dean who stood out with three and two wickets each and with support from Mahika Gaur, Issy Wong, Lauren Filer and Mady Villers, it was more than a decent bowling performance to show.

With a total of 150 to chase, England A had Grace Scrivens and Maia Bouchier give the perfect start to the proceedings as they not just batted with a lot of finesse and poise but their attacking instinct was one to watch out for and their partnership, a blossoming 38 runs one spoke for itself.

While the duo looked good to get through the powerplay, handing India A that crucial breakthrough was skipper Minnu Mani. Joining Scrivens at the crease was Hollie Armitage and the latter played more of a supporting role to Scrivens who was looking to attack. But Armitage’s knock was not one to last as Shreyanka Patil dismissed her for 13.

Freya Kemp then joined Scrivens and the two kept the proceedings going with some intent running and crucial boundaries. Before Kemp could find her footing, she was dismissed and run out for 17 by Jintamani Kalita who was a live wire on the field.

England A seemed to lose the plot and another jolt was when Scrivens was out, her strokeful knock of 39 that came to an end as Minnu Mani struck again. With the consecutive dismissals of Freya Kemp and Mady Villiers, England A were in all sorts of trouble.

But it was Issy Wong who held her ground and quote literally bailed her team out of the rocky waters by scoring a blistering 35 off 15, coupled with five boundaries and one six to seal the deal for England A and level the series 1-1, setting up a blockbuster final series decider on Sunday.

Brief Scores: India A v England A 2nd T20

India A- 149/9 in 20 overs (Kanika Ahuja 27, Uma Chetry 26, Arushi Goel 26; Kirstie Gordon 3/28, Charlie Dean 2/36) lost to England A- 151/6 in 18.5 overs (Grace Scrivens 39, Issy Wong 35*; Minnu Mani 2/29) by four wickets.

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