India clinched the three-match ODI series against England by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with a comprehensive win at Mumbai on Monday, 25 February.
Like the 1st ODI, England had a dismal performance, again. Apart from Natalie Sciver, other batters failed to get going and could add only 161 and bowled out prior o their allotted 50 overs.
There was not only one point, but in every way, India dominated their counterpart – be it opener Smriti Mandhana’s blitzy half-century, captain Mithali Raj’s unbeaten 47 or Jhulan Goswami-Shikha Pandey’s four-wicket haul each.
With this convincing win, India continued their winning streak against England at their home soil. India first hosted England in the season of 1995/96 and they have never lost to England in an ODI series at home against them. This is their sixth series win against England at home.
Let’s have a look at three talking points from the low scoring encounter at Wankhede, Mumbai:
1. Natalie Sciver’s fighting 85
After having won the toss, England chose to bat first. But their decision soon became their nightmare as Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey cleaned up top four batters within 14 overs and left them struggling at 44/4.
Sciver came to her side’s rescue and tried to steady the ship with Lauren Winfield. She looked comfortable right from the start of her innings. Along with Lauren Winfield, she added a 49-run partnership before Winfield got dismissed and left England struggling at 93/5.
It was at that point when she ensured that she did not lose her wicket as well as took the charge of scoring. Sciver then decided to hit Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav mainly, after not getting any room from the two pacers. However, both Georgia Elwiss and Katherine Brunt departed for ducks by Shikha Pandey and left England at 95/7.
Anya Shrubsole and Sophie Ecclestone tried their best to support Sciver and guided till 119/9. At that point, England’s innings looked like it would end soon. However, the last wicket partnership between Alex Hartley and Natalie Sciver slowly build the innings from there on and added 42 runs in eight overs; where Alex Hartley scored no runs.
It was a solo effort from Natalie Sciver which helped England to put up 161 on board.
2. Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey’s masterclass pace-bowling
After Heather Knight won the toss and decided to bat first on a wicket that was batting friendly at first along with spin friendly, the Indian fast bowlers were right on their skill which certainly troubled England throughout the series.
Both Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey were bowling with a plan. Goswami’s accurate line along with Pandey’s inswingers didn’t five the batters any room to free their hands; which eventually worked very well. Australia lost their three top-order batters within the powerplay.
Their economical spell didn’t allow the batters to settle down on the crease for a long time. Except for Tammy Beaumont, Natalie Sciver and Lauren Winfield; who did reach the double figures only. Among them, only Sciver was there who scored a stable 109-ball 85.
Goswami and Pandey bowled 12 of the first 14 overs and left England struggling at 44/4. The duo returned for their second spell and cleaned up England’s middle and lower-middle order. Goswami ended up taking 4 wickets in her 8.3 overs while Pandey took her career-best 4/18 in her 10 overs spell.
Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey take eight wickets between them which is by far the most wickets taken by India’s pacers in any ODI.
3. Charismatic Smriti Mandhana and elegant Mithali Raj
After England put up a mere total of 161 on board, India’s chase did not start on a high note as their in-form opener Jemimah Rodrigues struggled to score and finally getting dismissed for a 10-ball duck.
However, Smriti Mandhana, who didn’t score big in the first ODI, fulfilled in the second. After Rodrigues’ dismissal, she tried to steady the ship with Punam Raut; who replaced newcomer Harleen Deol in the playing XI and both added 73-run together to provide a solid foundation for the run chase.
Raut meanwhile missed Elwiss’ delivery down leg-side and Sarah Taylor’s lightning-quick glove work sent her in the dugout for 32. The captain Mithali Raj joined her vice-captain at the crease. Both made another strong partnership of 66 runs. Mandhana scored her 19th half-century by hitting Ecclestone to a boundary between deep fine and deep mid.
Mandhana’s half-century levelled former captain Anjum Chopra’s record of the scoring half-century. Only present captain Mithali Raj, has more 50+ scores for India. However, she scored 63 off 74 with seven fours and a six before getting trapped in front of the wicket by Anya Shrubsole when India required only 22 runs to win.
On the other hand, Mithali Raj played another captain’s knock, along with a brilliant captaincy earlier in the game, showed her class and stamped her authority in her unbeaten 47 off 69; which included eight boundaries. However, the winning runs came from the captain’s bat when she hit Elwiss over mid-wicket and finished the game in style.
The third and final ODI will be played at the same ground on Thursday, February 28. After the completion of the ODI series, both the teams will play a three-match T20I series at Guwahati from March 4.