India Women: 123-6 (20 overs)
England Women: 124-6 (18.5 overs)
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England comfortably beat India in the end to make it two wins from three in the Women's tri-series tournament in Australia. Natalie Sciver stood out with the bat with a well-made 50 off just 38 balls while Anya Shrubsole did the damage with the ball, picking up figures of 3/31.
Having a very low total to defend, India had to get off to a good start by picking early wickets if they expected to win the game. That is exactly what happened as Amy Ellen Jones was sent packing in the very first over by Rajeshwari Gayakwad. England quickly slumped to 28-3 and were in a spot of bother but then skipper Heather Knight got together with Natalie Sciver and began to revive England's innings. Sciver's half-century and an unbeaten 20 from Fran Wilson ensured that despite the fall of some late wickets, England were able to chase down the target with more than an over to spare.
Earlier, India were put into bat and got off to a very positive start thanks to some wonderful strokeplay from Smriti Mandhana. After losing Shafali Verma in the Powerplay, Mandhana got together with Jemimah Rodrigues to consolidate India's innings. Another partnership between Rodrigues and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur set a good platform for India. But Anya Shrubsole struck some late blows to restrict India to just 123-6 in their 20 overs.
Also see – Women’s cricket world cup schedule
Positive start by India with the bat
Openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana gave India a strong start with the bat, adding 34 runs in the first five overs. Mandhana looked particularly impressive as she was timing the ball sweetly and finding a boundary almost every over. She also stitched a good partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues who scored a decent 23. India looked in a good position to reach a total in the range of 150 when Rodrigues and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur were at the crease and were looking to cut loose in the last five overs.
Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt apply the breaks on India
Veda Krishnamurthy had come to the crease and with last six overs remaining, loomed to score some quick runs. But she was caught and bowled by Katherine Brunt who created pressure by bowling a tight line and length. Rodrigues was playing well and looking to shift gears after having got off to a decent start. At 80-2, things looked rather rosy for India but just then Anya Shrubsole struck, as Rodrigues got stumped off her bowling.
When skipper Harmanpreet Kaur had got her eye in and looked to clear the boundary, Shrubsole struck again as Kaur was caught off her bowling by Heather Knight. This sucked all the momentum out of India's innings as both the set batters Rodrigues and Kaur were dismissed by Shrubsole.
Natalie Sciver's important helf-century
After losing Danielle Wyatt and the experienced Katherine Brunt in successive overs, England were in a spot of bother at 28-3. Indians could smell blood and looked to apply even more pressure on the England batters and trigger a batting collapse. However, Natalie Sciver absorbed all the pressure along with skipper Heather Knight at the crease and started playing positive cricket. She played her shots and began to attack the Indian bowlers and in the process brought up her half-century in just 37 balls which included six fours and a six. Although she lost her wicket, her half-century was enough to see England win comfortably in the end by four wickets.
Anya Shrubsole played an important role with the ball in the middle-overs by picking up crucial wickets just when India looked to change gears and score quickly. Her figures of 3/31 from 4 overs earned her the Player of the Match award.
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