With a day and a half remaining, India easily defeated England for 131 runs in the second innings, handily winning the Test match. It was one of England’s worst losses ever. India’s victory margin of 347 runs, the greatest in a women’s Test match, raises concerns about England’s prospects under Jon Lewis following their humiliating September T20 series loss to Sri Lanka.
The match ended during the first session of the third day of the four-day envy when Heather Knight’s team was bowled out for five runs less after being dismissed for 136 in their maiden innings.
On the third day of the one-off Test here on Saturday, the powerful Indian squad defeated England by a historic margin of 347 runs. Deepti Sharma performed brilliantly as the enforcer for the second time in as many days. India declared their second innings at the overnight score of 186 for 6, starting the chase for victory and forcing England to climb a massive 479-run mountain in their second innings.
In April 1998, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 309 runs. However, the Indian bowlers, led by off-spinner Deepti (4/32) and pacer Pooja Vastrakar (3/23) bowled England out for 131 to celebrate the biggest-ever run victory in women’s Test cricket history.
Having defeated England twice on the road in 2014, it was also India’s first Test victory over England at home in 15 matches. This gives them a significant advantage going into the one-off Test against Australia that begins here next week. The Indians have been at their most merciless over the previous three days, showing no signs of weariness despite not having appeared in Test cricket in two years and their first at home in nine years.
Deepti Sharma is adjudged the Player of the Match for her incredible bowling performance, claiming 9⃣ wickets and scoring 87 runs in the match 👏👏— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) December 16, 2023
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/UB89NFaqaJ #TeamIndia | #INDvENG | @IDFCFIRSTBank | @Deepti_Sharma06 pic.twitter.com/ylGt4gL2oq
Despite being 44 not out overnight, Harmanpreet Kaur, the skipper of India, chose to make her declaration right away. In a partnership of 28 for the first wicket, England got off to a decent start with Tammy Beaumont going down the track to Sneh Rana and Dunkley hammering out the scoop shot. Renuka Singh, however, penetrated Beaumont’s barriers in her third over with a ball that straightened and hooked back off the stump.
Even though the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side set a lot of records, they should give credit to Deepti (8-2-32-4), who was at her best following the incredible 5 for seven in the first innings. England lacked the will to battle, even on a ground that seemed much kinder.
Team India registered a historic win
In a women’s Test match, Deepti Sharma’s nine-wicket haul of 39 was the best by an Indian spinner. Pooja Vastrakar’s three-wicket haul of 23 featured the crucial wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt, whacked for a golden duck.
England’s batters failed to commit on a day when it should have been all about batting out time with patience. They seemed to be caught in the combative mindset that has been Lewis’ signature. Amy Jones pulled to midwicket, Sophia Dunkley nicked Vastrakar right into the hands of the gully, and Sophie Ecclestone attempted and failed to make the sweep shot so frequently that it was just a matter of time before she was dispatched by Rajeshwari Gayakwad.
This put England, who had been bowled out for 136 in their opening innings and had given up a lead of 292 runs, at 37 for 2, into familiar terrain in this encounter. The only England batter to put up any resistance in the first innings, Nat Sciver-Brunt, was taken by Vastrakar with the very next ball when she nipped back in from a superb length outside off, went through the gate, and smashed into the stumps.
India did not have to strive excessively for the third wicket, but they did waste two DRS reviews in a hurry, one against Heather Knight and one against Danni Wyatt. After Deepti dismissed Danni Wyatt for the second time in the game after four deliveries, pushing her to slip, and Jones survived to midwicket in the off-spinner’s subsequent over, India were through to the end.
England fell to 68 for 4 as Vastrakar managed to get one to hold its line from outside off and induce an outside edge off Heather Knight. Then Deepti directed the procession and succeeded in getting rid of Amy Jones with a sloppy pull to midwicket to get at the England tail and confounding Danni Wyatt with a terrific offbreak taken at slip.
Kate Cross and Lauren Bell enjoyed themselves, hitting four boundaries between them, but Deepti took their ninth wicket when Lauren Filer, storming down the pitch, was bowled for a duck. Before lunch arrived, England were all out in 28 overs; the only player from the English dug-out to survive the attack was Charlie Dean, who was unbeaten at 20.
With one that turned fiercely from outside off to nail down the back leg stump, she dismissed Kate Cross, and with one that kept low after spinning into to pinged middle stump, she enticed Lauren Filer down the pitch.
While passed, Rajeshwari Gayakwad knocked Sophie Ecclestone out. The final wicket fell when Lauren Bell was caught at a silly point by Jemimah Rodrigues. The latter prompted raucous celebrations for the home team, while on the other hand, the victory comes at a good time for India, who will try to capture this energy and form for their upcoming Test match, which begins on Thursday at Wankhede Stadium against Australia. They have already won a home Test in nine years; therefore they will be strong favourites to win another one.