A clinical performance by the home team led by Kate Cross's five-wicket haul and a vital 92-run stand for the sixth wicket between Sophia Dunkley and Katherine Brunt ensured England register a five-wicket win in the second ODI against India and wrap up a series win at the County Ground in Taunton.
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Chasing a modest total of 222-runs, England were reeling at 133 for the loss of five wickets. However, Sophia Dunkley, and Katherine Brunt, forged a match defining 92-run stand for the sixth wicket to propel the team to a five-wicket win.
In only her second ODI, Dunkley notched up her maiden half century (73*) studded with five fours and a solitary six to help the team record the win.
Earlier in the day, Heather Knight won the toss and elected to field first, giving her bowlers maximum chance to extract pace and bounce off the fresh wicket. The Indian openers, Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma stitched a crucial 56-run stand for the opening wicket before the southpaw was dismissed for 22 runs by Kate Cross.
The home side adopted an interesting strategy as they bowled a barrage of short-pitch deliveries to unsettle Verma. While she was reprieved by Laura Winfield-Hill on 21, the drop did not prove to be too costly in the context of the game, as the 17-year-old was dismissed for 44.
With wickets tumbling, it was on the shoulders of Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur to guide the team to safety. Two of the most experienced players in the middle order steadied the innings with a valuable 68-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, the wicket of Harmanpreet in the middle overs triggered a mini-collapse as the Indian team lost six wickets for 47 runs with Kate Cross, the wrecker in chief, picking up a fifer.
The right-arm pacer was instrumental in creating inroads and returned with figures of 5-34. Despite a valiant half-century from Mithali Raj (59) and a 19-run cameo from veteran Jhulan Goswami in the back end of the innings, the Indian team managed to reach a below par total of 221 runs in the first innings.
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While performance of the batting unit is a major cause of concern, another significant issue to ponder heading into the third game is the injury to Mithali Raj. The skipper sustained a neck injury during the batting innings and failed to take the field in the second innings.
With a couple of days to recover, the visiting side would hope to see her back on the field as India's batting is heavily reliant on her to guide them through the middle overs.