Cricket News

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur star in India’s clincial win over England

The T20I series is level at 1-1.
Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana- Source (Twitter)

India Women opening batter Smriti Mandhana’s sublime knock of 79 and captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten 29 helped India beat England by eight wickets in the second T20I of the three-match series at County Cricket Ground, Derby on Wednesday.

Smriti’s unbeaten innings ensured that India avoided any slipups to chase down a sub-par total set by the hosts. She was ably accompanied by her captain right till the end to help India with their first win of the series, enabling the visitors to tie the series 1-1.

The Indian team made a decent start to their run chase after Freya Kemp became the youngest woman to make a T20I fifty for England, and helped her team reach a sub-par total. In the first innings, England lost wickets at regular intervals to end up on a paltry 142-6

Shafali Verma and Mandhana opened the innings. The duo took the attack to the English bowlers, hitting a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay. The southpaw, Mandhana, made merry of the bowling of first innings hero Freya Kemp, who came into the attack in the fifth over. Kemp was hit all over the place and was hit for four boundaries, including one off a free hit. Kemp proved to be expensive and gave away 19 runs in the first over.

India was motoring to victory, but Sophie Ecclestone came on and Shafali Verma was caught and bowled off the last bowl of the powerplay, giving England a much-needed breakthrough. The visitors finished the powerplay well with the score reading 55-1.

The departure of Shafali brought in Dayalan Hemalatha. Hemlatha did not trouble the English bowlers and was out soon after scoring just nine runs in the ninth over, which brought in Harmanpreet Kaur.

Smriti continued to get boundaries at regular intervals to let Kaur get used to the conditions. The duo took India to 90-2 at the end of 10 overs, with Mandhana at 43 off 28 balls and Kaur at 11 off six deliveries. India romped home to the score at 146-2 in the 17th over, as the skipper and the star batter stitched an unbeaten partnership of 69 runs.

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