After having lost the first two encounters due to poor performances, England bounced back beautifully in the third match of their three-match ODI series against India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Both the teams made one change to their playing eleven. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad came in place of Ekta Bisht whereas Danielle Wyatt replaced injured Sophie Ecclestone in their playing XI; which turned out to be a shrewd decision, with Wyatt putting in a match-winning performance.
However, India once again lost in the third encounter of the three-match ODI series for the fourth time in their ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20). Earlier, they lost in their third match to South Africa and Sri Lanka in 2018 after having won the series. This year, the same thing happened as they lost to New Zealand earlier this year and then to England.
Though with this series win, India continued their winning streak against England at their home soil.
Let’s have a look at three talking points from their third encounter:
1. Stable partnership between Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut
India won the toss and elected to bat first. However, India’s innings did not start on a high note as their opener Jemimah Rodrigues once again dismissed for a two-ball duck to Brunt. Her dismissal brought Punam Raut on the crease. Smriti Mandhana, who has been in a great form, tried to steady the ship with Punam Raut. Both added 129-run together to provide a solid foundation in the total.
In her 50th ODI game, Smriti Mandhana scored another half-century in 56 balls. She hit the ball behind square, took a single and completed her 16th half-century. Raut, who got dismissed on 32 in the second game, played a steady inning and scored her 11th half-century.
Both of them looked comfortable in the middle until 28th over as Brunt dismissed both of them in the 29th over and from thereafter, India’s struggle of scoring started. Smriti Mandhana scored a 74-ball 66 which included eight boundaries and a six. Her partner, Raut scored 56 off 97 with seven boundaries.
2. Katherine Brunt’s firing spell
Elected to bat first, India made a solid foundation with their two experienced players – Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut. Both of them added 129 runs in 28th over. Mandhana scored her 16th ODI half-century and Raut scored her 11th ODI half-century. They were literally destroying England’s bowling attack and at that point of time, England was searching the ways to break the partnership.
Captain Heather Knight gave the responsibility to her senior-most bowler Katherine Brunt; who came, saw and conquered. The first two balls of the 29th over were dot balls. Mandhana hit the first one towards mid-on while the second one was full outside off. The trap was set for Mandhana in the third ball. Brunt changed the pace and it was a short ball. Mandhana pulled and hit it towards deep square leg which safely landed in Wyatt’s hands. That was the breakthrough which England were looking for a long time.
The over literally belonged to Brunt only. Another set batter Punam Raut faced the last delivery of the over. It was fuller length delivery which Raut tried to push but the gap between her bat and pad allowed the ball to slip through the gap and hit the stumps. Raut was bowled for 56 and India were reduced to 131-3 by the end of the 29th overs.
India left with two new batters on the crease – captain Mithali Raj and Mona Meshram. Like every team, they too were trying to build another partnership. But Brunt had other plans as she picked up Meshram in the fourth ball of the over when she was trapped before the stumps. Meshram once again went for a duck.
Brunt came for her seventh over. India captain Mithali Raj was on strike during the fourth ball of the over. It was a pitched up delivery and Raj was a little late in getting her bat down, she played it outside the line. It was a big inside edge which hit her pad and went upwards where Sarah Taylor did no mistake and took a well-judged catch. At first, they appealed for Leg before, but the umpire decided to give it a caught out after seeing the ball in Taylor’s gloves.
India captain departed for 7. It was Brunt’s fifth five-wicket haul. India started struggling at 143-5 by the end of the 33 overs and England were back in the game by then. Brunt single-handedly changed the way of the game and from there, India were not able to back in the game again and managed to put up 205 in their allotted overs.
3. Heather Knight and Danielle Wyatt’s 69-run partnership
After having restricted India within 205 on board, England were all confident to secure their first win in the series. Openers Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont gave a flying start to their team where Jones welcomed Goswami with a boundary. Both added 25 runs in 5 overs.
However, Goswami handed over the first breakthrough to India. It was a short delivery and Jones went for a pull short. It got a top-edge and Mandhana took an easy catch at mid-on. Beaumont looked composed in the middle and hit Shikha Pandey for a boundary and a six in the eighth over. Goswami struck again in the 9th over as she picked up Winfield for 2.
Goswami didn’t allow Beaumont to become more dangerous as she picked up Beaumont for 21 with Meshram taking a catch at slip. Deepti Sharma was next who bagged the wicket of Natalie Sciver. Sarah Taylor, who came to bat at number 5, too went for another low score (2) and left England struggling at 49-5 after 15 overs.
Danielle Wyatt then joined her captain Heather Knight at the crease. The pressure fell upon them to get past the winning line. They started building the partnership where Knight took the charge and Wyatt supported her well. Knight hit to back to back boundaries in the 16th over and did the same in the next over also.
Both of them particularly chose spinners to score big. Their steady partnership helped England to reach 100-run mark within 26 overs. However, in the 31st over, Poonam Yadav broke the 69-run partnership when she picked up Knight for 47 with a well-judged catch by Bhatia.
England were 118-6 when they lost their captain. However, Wyatt made another 56-run partnership with Georgia Elwiss before getting dismissed after scoring her first ODI half-century (56 off 82). Her inning made the winning foundation for her team. Later, Elwiss and Brunt added another 30 runs before she got out for 18.
Elwiss, however, stood strong at the other end, scored a 53-ball 33 and helped England get past the line along with Anya Shrubsole who finished the game in style by hitting a boundary through square leg.
Both the team will now play a three-match T20I series from March 4 in Guwahati, Assam.