Trailing the series 0-1, England would not have a better way to make a comeback. Their two leading spinners Sophie Ecclestone and Danielle Hazell took 8 wickets among themselves to restrict India into a modest total of 117 to win the match by 8 wickets, 2 years back on this day.
The toss might have gone Mithali Raj’s way, but not much else did thereafter. India threw away an opportunity to post a big total after electing to bat first. What cost them more was that they failed to bat out all 50 overs. Spin twins Hazel and Ecclestone did the bulk of the damage, sharing eight wickets between them.
Hazell dismissed top-order big guns Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur cheaply, while Ecclestone picked up Veda Krishnamurty and more importantly Smriti Mandhana, India’s highest run-scorer in the game. Mandhana’s innings showed glimpses of fluency before an Ecclestone delivery knocked into her off stump, leaving India reeling at 80 for 5. Within two overs, that position had worsened to 81 for 7. As the spinners wreaked havoc, the only batsman who hung in there amidst the storm was Deepti Sharma.
Her 25-run partnership with Jhulan Goswami meant India somehow crossed the three-figure mark. Sophie Ecclestone playing her 7th ODI match had picked up 4 wickets in the previous match and she replicated the same form in the next match too. She overtook her previous best in this match. On a track that spun and kept low, the spinners unsurprisingly headlined the game, taking all 11 wickets to fall to bowlers (there was also one run-out).
The victory also kept England win with a chance of winning the three-match series – something they have never previously done in India. England’s no-nonsense approach in the chase was led by Danielle Wyatt. Her 43-ball 47 saw the visitors coast to 73 at the end of the 15th over. Ekta Bisht, however, denied Wyatt a fine half-century as the batsman yorked herself.
In her next over, Bisht once again got a breakthrough for her team, her second victim being Amy Jones who departed without scoring. But that was all as far as India’s reasons to smile were concerned. Skipper Heather Knight then joined Tammy Beaumont and the duo steered England to victory with 21 overs to spare. The captain smashed Poonam Yadav to the boundary to bring up the winning runs and make it 1-1 in the series.
Brief Score :
India 113 (Smriti Mandhana 42, Sophie Ecclestone 4-14) lost to England 117/2 (Danielle Wyatt 47, Ekta Bisht 2/44) by 8 wickets