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Harmanpreet, Shafali fail as India lose 1st T20 vs England

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
July 10, 2021 11:14 IST
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IMAGE: Shafali Verma is bowled for a duck in the first over by pacer Katherine Brunt during the first T20 International at The County Ground in Northampton. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

England all-rounder Nat Sciver smashed a record-equalling half century before the bowlers put the struggling Indian batters under pressure to ensure an 18 run-win for the hosts via Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain-curtailed first T20I in Northampton.

 

Put in to bat, England rode on Sciver's blazing 27-ball 55, that included eight fours and a hit over the fence, and wicketkeeper Amy Jones' 43 off 27 balls to post a healthy 177 for seven in their 20 overs.

Sciver's sensational fifty was England's joint fastest in the format.

In reply, India failed to keep up with the required run-rate despite vice-captain Smriti Mandhana's quickfire 29 off 17 balls before rain gods had the last laugh with the visitors at 54 for three in 8.4 overs, 18 runs behind England via the DLS method.

England lead the three-match series 1-0 and 8-4 in the multi-format points system having lifted the ODI trophy.

IMAGE: Nat Sciver smashed her way to a quickfire 27-ball 55 to power England to 177/7 in their 20 overs. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Chasing 178, India was off to the worst possible start as pacer Katherine Brunt bamboozled the big-hitting Shafali Verma for a duck before India had opened their score.

However, Mandhana and Harleen Deol (17 not out) got the tourists back on track after the initial upset.

With rain on the cards, the duo quickly stitched a 44-run partnership with Mandhana hitting six boundaries, including successive fours off Brunt in the third over of the chase, while Harleen played second fiddle.

But Sciver struck soon, getting rid of the dangerous Mandhana in the sixth over.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's (1) prolonged lean patch continued as the senior batter became all-rounder Sarah Glenn's first victim in the very next over.

The loss of the skipper's wicket in quick succession cost the Indians dear, ensuring that they were well behind in the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Earlier, veteran pacer Shikha Pandey (3/22) snared three wickets while spinners Poonam Yadav (1/32) and Radha Yadav (1/33) took a scalp each in what was an ordinary bowling effort.

Openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt gave England a solid start, collecting 48 runs in the powerplay.

Radha broke the opening stand in the eighth over as wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, playing her first match of the series, caught Wyatt attempting a reverse sweep. Initially given not out, the Indians went for the review which showed a big spike on the UltraEdge.

After skipper Heather Knight's departure, Sciver and Jones kept the moment going. The duo strung a 78-run stand.

Harmanpreet and Harleen pulled off splendid catches in the penultimate over as Shikha struck thrice, getting rid of Sciver, Jones and Sophia Dunkley (1).

IMAGE: Wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh takes the catch to dismiss Danielle Wyatt off the bowling of Radha Yadav. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

While skipper Harmanpreet, fielding at long on, put an end to Sciver's brilliant innings by diving to pouch the ball inches over the ground.

Two balls later, Harleen put an end to Jones' innings, as she jumped to take a superb reverse-cupped catch at the boundary above her head before losing her balance.

She threw the ball in the air as she stepped out of the boundary rope only to jump back in, diving forward to complete the catch.

Skipper Harmanpreet said the team's fielding has improved considerably under the guidance of coach Abhay Sharma but the bowling could have been better.

"We knew there'd be rain after 8:30 PM. We couldn't make it due to back-to-back wickets. We fielded really well, there's a lot of improvement in our fielding.

"Shikha did really well in the bowling department. We need to think of the boundaries we're are giving in between overs. If we can work on that, we can stop any team. Every game is important for us, today was unfortunate because of rain," she said at the post match presentation.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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