England clinched the three-match T20I series by winning the second game by 5 wickets against India at Guwahati on March 7.
England won the toss and elected to field first. Put into bat, India put up 23 runs in the first two overs and after that, the wickets started falling at a regular interval. Once again India’s batting collapsed in front of England’s bowling and they managed to put up mere 111 after 20 overs.
Chasing the mere 112, England too lost 5 wickets but Danielle Wyatt’s stable 64 guides England to a convincing win. With this win, England won the series as well by 2-0.
Here are the three talking points from the second encounter:
Katherine Brunt’s formidable form
Put into bat, India tried to score quickly within the powerplay where the opener Harleen Deol welcomed the bowler with a boundary. In the second over, captain Smriti Mandhana started with the six over mid-off and ended the over with another six over mid-on off Anya Shrubsole and put up 23 runs within 2 overs.
Till then everything was looking perfect. But Katherine Brunt had another plan. Captain Heather Knight gave the responsibility to her senior-most bowler Katherine Brunt. The first ball of the 3rd over was a dot ball while the second one was for a single. The trap was set for Mandhana in the third ball. Brunt gave a fuller length delivery and tempted Mandhana for a drive. But she failed to do so that produced outside edge and Amy Jones made no mistake as she took a well-judged low catch.
Brunt came back for the fifth over where opener Harleen Deol hit a boundary in the second delivery towards backward point. Jemimah Rodrigues was on strike during the final ball of the over. She was standing deep in the crease and hoped to slog it across the line but played it down the wrong line and Brunt’s pace was too fast to handle. She was bowled for 2.
After that, wickets started falling at regular intervals. It was when the debutant Bharti Fulmali was looking confident and trying for big shots, Brunt cam for her final over. Brunt gave a slower delivery, Fulmali backed away to drive it wide of cover but failed to hit the bat and it smashed her stumps. The economical spells from the bowlers restricted India within a below per.
India’s dismal performance in batting
India is going through a transitional phase. They are currently looking out their best eleven in the T20s as the ICC World T20 2020 will be held in less than a year. After having lost in the semi-final of the ICC World T20 last year, India hasn’t won a single T20 game since then.
In New Zealand, only Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues were in form and scored most of the runs. Apart from them, no other batter was able to contribute in the middle and It is almost known by now that if you can dismiss Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues within the powerplay, then India will certainly be on backfoot.
The same thing is going on in the ongoing T20 series against England. Like the first T20, India had a dismal batting performance. After having lost Mandhana, Rodrigues and Harleen Deol within the powerplay, Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma tried to steady the ship, added 35 runs but a decent throw dismissed Sharma for 18 and left India struggling at 69-4 after 13 overs.
However, to accelerate the score, Mithali tried to hit big but ended up giving a catch to Winfield at long-on. India was never into the game as they were not able to make a strong partnership and fall of wickets at regular interval ended there inning at 111/8 after 20 overs.
Danielle Wyatt and Lauren Winfield’s 47-run partnership
After having restricted India within 111 on board, England was all confident to secure their second win in the series. Openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont gave a flying start to their team and added 28 runs in 5 overs.
However, Radha Yadav handed over the first breakthrough to India. It was a full and quick delivery and Beaumont came down the track which skidded through bat and pad and ended up smashing the leg stump.
The next was Poonam Yadav who struck again in her first over as she picked up Jones for 5. Ekta Bisht too didn’t allow Sciver and Knight to become more dangerous and trapped both of them in the 9th and 11th over respectively before the stumps for 1 and 2.
England was soon reduced to 57-4 after 11 overs and the pressure fell upon Wyatt and Winfield to get past the winning line. They started building the partnership where Wyatt took the charge and Winfield supported her well.
Both of them started timing the ball well and when they got settled down, it became difficult for the bowlers to dismiss them. Their steady partnership helped England to reach the 100-run mark in 17 overs. However, in the 18th over, Deepti Sharma broke the 47-run partnership when she picked up Winfield for 29 with a well-judged catch by Rodrigues.
By then, England was pretty much on the way of winning. Wyatt’s stable knock of 64 off 55 made the winning foundation for her team. England won the game by 5 wickets and took an unassailable lead of 2-0 in this three-match T20I series.
Both the team will play their final T20I match on March 9 in Guwahati, Assam.