In the first T20I of the India versus England series, the visitors clinched the game much more easily in a high total chase and were able to defend the total swiftly, registering a 38-run win and taking a 1-0 lead. Nat-Sciver Brunt was adjudged the Player of the Match for her outstanding 77-run knock and a wicket in her name.
India won the toss and invited England to face the Indian bowling attack led by Renuka Singh. Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt walked out of the dugout to beam onto the English batting line-up but Dunkley succumbed early on the fourth ball followed by Alice Capsey’s duck on the very next ball.
A brilliant start by Renuka Singh and India gave an early momentum in the game and there came England and Wyatt’s first four in the third over. Nat Sciver-Brunt was fresh in the attack now with two back-to-back fence-touching smashes in the fourth and fifth over.
Brunt had it all in the coming overs sweeping out two boundaries in each until Wyatt came up with the first six of the series in the ninth over. After ten overs, the duo was able to put the England scoreboard on a thumping stature of 89 runs. Meanwhile, Wyatt was on her fifty with the second maximum of the match.
Nothing seemed to be working for India as the duo was thundering on their bowling attack like anything and neutralizing all the key bowlers of the Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur until Saika Ishaque brought the breakthrough for her team dismissed Wyatt on the first ball of the sixteenth over at a gigantic 75 off just 47 balls.
READ MORE: IND vs ENG: With Promising New Faces To Test, Team India Embark Their Campaign Against England
But Brunt retaliated superbly despite a big jolt with four boundaries in Pooja Vastrakar’s seventeenth over. All looked good but the English skipper couldn’t make it as expected by her side as she had to depart much early on the second ball of the eighteenth over followed by Brunt’s final show-down in the nineteenth over as Renuka Singh thrashed her out at 77 off 53 balls. And that’s how the English innings came to a storming end as Amy Jones summed up with a six and two fours in the last over.
India kicked off the 198-run chase with its star openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma which went well in the first over as both of them were off the mark with a boundary each smashing Mahika Gaur well in time. Things seemed somewhat fine for India with 20 runs off 2 overs until Mandhana left for the pavilion in the third over.
Varma, on the other hand, kept the board running with raining boundaries in the following overs, and the powerplay ended with Jemimah Rodrigues’ early wicket and Kaur’s boundary. Kaur picked the momentum much more quickly with torrential boundaries and the first six of the inning but got out suddenly on the second ball of the eleventh over as Sophie Ecclestone brought the breakthrough.
Keeping in mind the target on board, new down Richa Ghosh lifted the momentum up again with her thundering six, the second of the chase but she too couldn’t make it longer than her Sarah Glenn’s match-turning delivery in the fifteenth over where India stood at 124 for the loss of 4. And things started looking far for India with Varma’s dismissal in the seventeenth over after a valuable 52-run knock.
Although Kanika Ahuja and Vastrakar tried their best to sweep out a boundary each but Ahuja had to walk back at just 15 off 12 deliveries with England bowlers just doing the formalities before stepping on to the win. And the match concluded with Vastrakar’s boundary on the last ball of the inning thus freezing the scoreboard at 159 for the loss of 6.
Brief scores: India vs England 1st T20I
England 197/6 in 20 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 77, Danni Wyatt 75; Renuka Thakur 3-27) beat India 159/6 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 52; Sophie Ecclestone 3-15) by 38 runs.