A fumbled batting performance let the Indian women down against England in the series opener

Renuka Singh Thakur of India celebrates the wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt of England during the first international T20 match between India Women and England Women held at the Wankhede Cricket Stadium, Mumbai on the 6th December 2023 Photo by: Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

A clinical performance in all three departments helped England Women to beat Indian Women by 38 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. Women in Blue will aim for a win to level the series when they play the second encounter on December 9, Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium. And for the same, Indian Women should think about their fielding and the lack of power-hitters in the middle order.

Bowling first, Renuka Singh gave India a superb start by cleaning up both Sophia Dunkley (1) and Alice Capsey (0) in the very first over. But other bowlers failed to tighten the screws further and allowed Danni Wyatt and Nat Sciver-Brunt to stitch a sensational 138-run partnership for the third wicket. Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt assessed the match situation well and batted brilliantly to score their respective half-centuries.

Saika Ishaque gave the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Wyatt for 75. Heather Knight (6) departed cheaply while Sciver-Brunt went back to the dressing room after playing a fine knock of 77. Amy Jones’ firing cameo of 9-ball 23 helped England to post a big total of 197/6 in 20 overs.

Indian Women started their chase positively by scoring 12 runs in the first over. But very soon the hosts lost their track as Smriti Mandhana (6) and Jemimah Rodrigues (4) departed cheaply. Shafali Verma and Harmanpreet Kaur (26) looked to steady the Indian ship by adding 41 runs for the third wicket. Moments later, Richa Ghosh walked back after chipping in 21. In the 17th over, Sophie Ecclestone bagged the important wicket of Shafali (52) who was the only hope for India, and eventually, India lost the match.

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