India lose 1st women’s T20I against England via D/L method

India lose 1st women's T20I against England via D/L method Losing wickets at a crucial time when rain was about to wash out the rest of the game cost India as they went down by 18 runs, via the Duckworth-Lewis method, in the first women’s T20 International against England in Northampton on Friday.
The visitors will now need to quickly regroup before the second game of the series at Hove on Sunday.
Needing to have scored 72 in 8.4 overs in the day/night game, India were 54 for three when rain became too heavy for play to resume any more. Caressing the ball for six sweetly-timed fours in a quickfire 17-ball 29, Smriti Mandhana seemed to have pulled India ahead on DLS, but her and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s dismissals spoiled the equation for the team.
The left-hander fell to a pull shot which landed straight in the hands of Sophie Ecclestone off Natalie Sciver, while Harmanpreet failed to shake off her miserable run, as she was out for just one, coming down the track to leg-spinner Sarah Glenn, only to hit the ball straight to Sophie Ecclestone at mid-off.
India were off the worst-possible start when Shafali Verma was castled for a duck by Katherine Brunt off the second ball of the innings, as she backed away too much, perhaps expecting a short ball.
Earlier, backed brilliantly by her fielders, Shikha Pandey took three wickets in the penultimate over, but, powered by electrifying knocks by Natalie Sciver (55, 27b, 8×4, 1×6), Amy Jones (43, 24b, 4×4, 2×6), England managed to race away to a formidable 177 for seven in 20 overs after being asked to take first strike by India.
Fabulous catches by Harmanpreet at long on to send back Sciver, and by youngster Harleen Deol at deep cover to dismiss Jones in Pandey’s over, the 19th of the innings, helped India take some late wickets, but Sciver and Jones’ 78-run partnership for the fourth wicket in just 42 balls had already helped the hosts into the driver’s seat in the game.
While Harmanpreet dived in front her to pouch off the ball inches from the ground, grazing her elbow with the ground in the process, Deol parried the ball back in, before diving back inside the fence to pull off a stunner. ‘Keeper Richa Ghosh then effected a superb stumping off a wide delivery by Pandey to dismiss Sophia Dunkley, as England lost wickets in a flurry. However, by launching an assault that saw England plunder 55 between overs 14 to 18, and go from 100 to 150 in merely 23 balls, the Sciver-Jones duo had almost batted India out of the game. The visitors were left with an ask of pulling off their highest-ever chase to win the game.
Both Sciver, who smashed a 24-ball fifty – England’s fastest fifty ever – and Jones were brutal on the Indian bowlers, who were by and large mediocre. It was her 19th half-century in T20Is. Cutting the first ball she faced for a four to off Radhav Yadav, Sciver batted in only gear, with her stand out shot being a beautifully-struck six over cover.
Sciver and Jones had picked up England after they had slipped to 85 for three in the 12th over.
As soon as she smashed the ball down the ground after dancing down the crease, Heather Knight set off for a run. What she didn’t account for was bowler Deepti Sharma diving brilliantly to stop the ball, and then throwing it back to Ghosh within a second. Stranded in the middle of the pitch after being denied a run by non-striker Sciver, the English skipper could only watch Ghosh whips the bails off.
It was the third wicket India took to cap a fightback after their spinners struck in successive overs to dismiss English openers Danni Wyatt (31, 28b, 3×4) and Tammy Beaumont (18), who had provided England a fine start, adding 56 in just 44 balls.
Left-arm spinner Radhav Yadav had Wyatt caught smartly by ‘keeper Richa Ghosh while edging a reverse sweep, while leg-spinner Poonam Yadav had Tammy Beaumont pouched by Smriti Mandhana at long on.
Brief Scores: England 177-7 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 55, Amy Jones 43, Danni Wyatt 31; Shikha Pandey 3-22) beat India 54-3 by 18 runs (via DLS method).


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