A commanding batting display, led by opener Danielle Wyatt's unbeaten 89, ensured England register an emphatic eight-wicket win against India in the T20I series at the County Ground in Chelmsford. After a month of exciting cricket and seven riveting games between two high-quality oppositions, the home team clinched an outright series win against India 10-6.
Chasing 154 for the coveted title, England entered the game with an 8-6 lead aiming to seal the series. Disappointed after being left out of the ODI squad in the tournament, Wyatt produced a match-defining inning of 89* in 56 balls to set up the run-chase in one of the most significant games of the series.
The 30-year was at her destructive best as she utilised the field restrictions that enabled England to reach 42 runs for one wicket in the powerplay. Along with Natalie Sciver, the right-hander stitched a crucial 112-run partnership for the second wicket to help them inch closer to victory.
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While Wyatt was the dominant partner with 12 boundaries and one six, Sciver anchored the innings with a fluent 42-run knock to power England to a comfortable win. The Indian team, however, were a bowler short as Arundhati Reddy walked off the field after suffering a shoulder injury while attempting to save a boundary early in the innings.
Earlier in the day, with the series on the line, the Indian team opted to bat first and put runs on the board in this high voltage clash. One of the highlights in this closely-contested series was the battle between young Shafali Verma and the experienced Katherine Brunt.
While Verma stepped onto the field with confidence after smashing the veteran for five consecutive boundaries in the previous encounter, Brunt used a wealth of her experience to dismiss the teenage sensation on her second ball by targeting the stumps and hitting the good length area.
The perfect start. 🤫— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 14, 2021
Scorecard & Videos: https://t.co/Q97j8GLh8Z#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/UYemtoPc40
Coming in at number three, Harleen Deol struggled to get going on a sluggish wicket and was dismissed early in the innings. Two of the most experienced batters in the Indian line-up, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, joined forces with the team reeling at 13 for the loss of two wickets.
The duo steadied the innings by accumulating the ones and twos and helping the Indian team reach 58 runs with two wickets down at the halfway stage of the innings.
Making optimum use of the shorter boundaries straight down the order, the skipper of the Indian side dominated the spinners and scored a quickfire 36 off 26 balls before being undone by a straight delivery from Natalie Sciver.
Big wicket.— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 14, 2021
Scorecard & Videos: https://t.co/Q97j8GLh8Z#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/V1qL5UpjmO
However, the wicket did not dent Mandhana at the other end as she crafted her way through her 13th T20I fifty. Displaying an array of strokes all around the park, Smriti played a crucial knock of 70 runs off 51 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
With a 20-run cameo off 13 balls from Richa Ghosh down the order, the visiting side managed to post 153 for six in their 20 overs amassing 95 runs in the last ten overs.
Stunning knock from Smriti Mandhana! 🏏@BCCIWomen post 153/6 in the third T20I.#ENGvIND | https://t.co/TZynU0oFLX pic.twitter.com/vnZ6KS6wIR— ICC (@ICC) July 14, 2021
Despite the series not going in their favour, the tour marked the arrival of Shafali Verma in the red-ball format and showcased the inspirational comeback from Sneh Rana.
With plenty of positives, the team will now embark on their journey Down Under in September for the historic Pink ball Test, along with the white-ball format of the series.