A dominating performance by the home team led by Natalie Sciver's destructive 27-ball 55 helped England register a comprehensive 18-run win via DLS method against India at the Country Ground in Northampton.
Along with Amy Jones, the all-rounder forged a vital 78-run stand for the fourth wicket to lay a solid foundation in the first innings after being asked to bat first. En route to this match-defining partnership, Sciver smashed the record of fastest fifty for England women in T20 off 24-balls at a strike rate of 203.70 to propel the team to a massive 177/7. India finished on 54/3 in 8.4 overs while the revised target was 73 in the rain-curtailed match.
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Despite the match not going in favour of the Indian team, one of the highlights for them was the fielding standard set by the youngsters. With valuable contributions from the top order, the hosts were cruising at 159 runs for the loss of three wickets with two overs to spare.
However, the penultimate over showcased brilliance in the field by the visiting side as Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front to hold onto a low catch, diving forward at long-on to dismiss a well-set Sciver.
A couple of balls later, Harleen Deol, featuring in her maiden appearance on this tour, grabbed a stunner at long-off to end a promising inning of 43 runs from Amy Jones. The 23-year-old timed her jump to perfection, threw the ball inside the boundary ropes and dived forward to complete one of the best catches in the women's game.
While the electric fielding hogged most of the limelight, Shikha Pandey stuck to her basics as she picked up her third wicket in the over, courtesy of a smart stumping by Richa Ghosh. The Indian team managed to pick up four wickets for 14 runs in the final 10 deliveries to curtail the scoring rate.
Stunning cricket in Northampton!— ICC (@ICC) July 9, 2021
💥 @englandcricket post a daunting 177/7.
💪 @natsciver smashes 55 off 27 balls.
☝️ @BCCIWomen hit back with 4/14 in last 10 deliveries.
India require a record chase to win.#ENGvIND | https://t.co/HOn50yqTGM pic.twitter.com/uDySDvGMt5
Chasing 178 runs for the win, the visiting side relied heavily on their opening combination to help them with a blazing start during the field restrictions.
However, they were dented early in the innings as Katherine Brunt outclassed Shafali Verma in the second ball of the first over. Coming in at number three, Harleen Deol stitched a crucial 44-run stand along with Smriti Mandhana to steady the innings.
With the required run rate creeping up and the pressure of the run chase, the team lost their vice-captain and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in the space of five deliveries.
The two quick wickets hurt the chances of the Indian team as relentless showers forced the match to be brought to a closure with the visiting side 18-runs short of the par score via the DLS method.