The India Women's Cricket Team got off to a disappointing start in the T20I series as they lost the first game of the 3-match series. They must win the second game to stay alive in the series. The County Ground in Hove will host the second T20I of the series on Sunday (July 11).
Most Indian batters have had dismal outings in limited-overs matches on this tour so far. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's prolonged lean run of form, in particular, is hurting India in the middle phase of the game.
The experienced batter needs to step up and play a match-defining knock if India are to level the series. Smriti Mandhana showed glimpses of form during the last game, as she played a neat cameo (29 in 17 balls) before the rain interruption.
The Team India management will hope the experienced duo take responsibility and perform well on Sunday to help India snatch a crucial win against the rampant hosts. On that note, let's revisit the past and take a look at Smriti Mandhana's best T20I knock against England.
Smriti Mandhana's 76-run knock went in vain as England chased down a huge total of 199 at Mumbai in 2018
Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai was the venue for this match. Mumbai hosted all the games of the Tri-nation T20 series involving India, England, and Australia in 2018. In the third game of the series, Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian side faced off against a strong English side.
The pitch was a batting paradise and the Indian openers Smriti Mandhana (76 off 40 balls) and Mithali Raj (53 off 43 balls) put on a splendid show, stitching together a majestic 129-run opening partnership in just 12.5 overs.
While veteran batter Mithali Raj held one end by playing the anchor role to perfection, while her younger partner Smriti Mandhana smashed her way to a quickfire 76 and provided a great platform for the Indian middle-order. It was the fastest fifty by an Indian woman in T20I cricket.
Nat Sciver dismissed Smriti Mandhana in the 13th over and provided the first breakthrough for the English side.
Harmanpreet Kaur (30 in 22 balls) promoted herself to the No.3 position as India got off to an exuberant start. In the company of Pooja Vastrakar (22 in 10 balls), the skipper played a useful cameo and took India to a huge first-innings total of 198/4.
In reply, the opening batters gave England a blazing start by racing away to 61 in just 5.1 overs. Jhulan Goswami (1/32) dismissed Bryony Smith (15) and broke a dangerous-looking opening stand. Danielle Wyatt (124 in 64 balls) remained unperturbed at the other end and kept playing an aggressive brand of cricket to keep the required rate under control.
Tammy Beaumont (35) and Nat Sciver (12) played supporting roles to the opener. Wyatt's 64-ball knock comprised 15 fours and five maximums. She eventually departed in the 17th over off Deepthi Sharma's bowling.
At that stage, England needed 16 runs to win off 18 balls. Smriti Mandhana's heroics went in vain as Sciver and Heather Knight finished off the chase comfortably to give England a 7-wicket win.