India failed miserably in all departments of the game as they suffered a comprehensive 38-run defeat against England in the first T20I of the three matches here on Wednesday. After opting to bowl, India put in a poor fielding and bowling performance – apart from Renuka Singh’s 3/27 – to allow England to post 197 for 6 and then only score 158 for 6 in 20 overs to lose the match and concede 1 – 0 leads England in the series. Only Shafali Verma (52 off 42 balls) could score big in the Indian run chase. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (26) and Richa Ghosh (21) failed to convert their starts as India failed to seriously challenge the big target. India needed 74 runs from the last five overs and it proved too much for the home side. Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the England bowlers with figures of 3/15 as she accounted for Shafali, Harmanpreet and Kanika Ahuja.
Shafali led a solitary battle of sorts, hitting 52 off 42 balls with nine fours, but kept running out of partners until her innings ended, with the right-handed batsman registering her seventh fifty in the format.
India’s chase took early hits when Smriti Mandhana (6) was cleaned up by Nat Sciver-Brunt in the third over and Freya Kemp struck on her first delivery and had Jemimah Rodrigues (4) caught behind in the sixth.
But despite losing two key players, India were 53/2 in the powerplay and looked to have a crack at the big chase until England’s spinners came into play.
After an injury lay-off, there were no visible signs of struggle for the thrifty Ecclestone, who cleaned up India skipper Harmanpreet (26 off 21 balls, 3x4s, 1x6s) as her partnership with Shafali began to threaten the visitors.
Harmanpreet also looked to be coming into her elements, but her onslaught was halted by Ecclestone, who crowded the Indian skipper for space in the 11th over. Harmanpreet added 41 runs for the third wicket.
Richa Ghosh (21) and Shafali provided a glimmer of hope for India with their brisk 26-ball 40-run stand for the fourth wicket, but Glenn broke their stand to peg the hosts back again.
The question kept getting out of India’s reach and the fate of the match was decided much before the last ball.
England also did not make glaring mistakes like India did in the first half in the box where the visitors’ fielding in the deep was top class and their players took most of the chances that came their way.
Richa was caught at long-on off Glenn in the 15th over and Shafali’s fall in the 17th meant India’s hopes were all but over.
Earlier, marauding fifties by Danni Wyatt (75) and Natalie Sciver-Brunt (77) took England Women to 197 for six after early stutter.
Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt put on a record 138 runs for the third wicket for England, which was also their first century stand against India in T20Is after being asked to bat first.
Indian seamer Renuka Singh Thakur (4-0-27-3) was the pick of the bowlers as she struck twice in quick succession in the first over to dismiss Sophie Dunkley (1) and Alice Capsey (0).
But Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt’s counter-attacks saw England dominate the remainder of the first innings.
The hosts also seemed to lose steam soon after the early breakthroughs and failed to drive home the advantage as they were guilty of poor bowling and fielding.
Wyatt, who took charge of the recovery from the early knocks, stroked his way to a 47-ball 75 studded with eight fours and two sixes to register his third fifty against India in the format.
She also got a lifeline when Pooja Vastrakar spilled a catch at long-on off Shreyanka Patil (2/44).
At the other end, Sciver-Brunt hit as many as 13 fours to make 77 off just 53 balls, unleashing powerful blows on both ends – especially sweep shots – for her fifth T20I half-century against India. PTI DDV PDS PDS
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