10th over: India 82-2 (Harmanpreet 26, Shafali 32) Glenn continues and is proving very difficult to get away – she twirls away at Harmanpreet to produce five consecutive dots but gives away the pressure by sending five wides down the leg-side. Oh dear. A single follows, turning a terrific over into just a good one.
9th over: India 76-2 (Shafali 32, Harmanpreet 25) Interestingly, Ecclestone is held back, with Kemp returning, and India seem to like that – Harmanpreet powers the ball over the leg-side rope for six. Proper swagger in that stroke. A leading edge brings Harmanpreet four more, an attempted legside flick turning into an offside boundary.
8th over: India 58-2 (Harmanpreet 9, Shafali 31) England turn to tweak from the other end too, with Sarah Glenn’s leggies called upon. She brings control, conceding just a couple of singles and a leg-bye.
7th over: India 55-2 (Harmanpreet 8, Shafali 30) England play their trump card, bringing Sophie Ecclestone into the game. Her first ball produces steep bounce and she settles in quickly, changing up her pace. There’s some lovely shape on it when she bowls a touch slower, and she closes the over with a gorgeous ripper past Shafali’s outside edge. Just two runs off a fine first set.
6th over: India 53-2 (Shafali 29, Harmanpreet 7) Ping! Shafali sees a full ball, and just lets the hands and arms flow through it, with four found over mid-off. Harmanpreet Kaur cuts a wide one to collect her first boundary.
Kemp strikes with her first ball! The left-arm quick sends one down, it’s tight to the body as Rodrigues tries to cut and she produces an edge for Jones. Silence strikes at the Wankhede once again.
5th over: India 41-1 (Rodrigues 4, Shafali 24) Jemimah gets a proper hold of a full Sciver-Brunt delivery but nearly gives Sarah Glenn a catch at mid-off – it dropped just short. Shafali then plays a sublime deft stroke, guiding the ball behind point to split the gap for four. Oh, this is rather lovely too – Shafali goes over mid-on to find four more. Another boundary, slightly streaky through the off side, closes a fine over for India.
4th over: India 28-1 (Rodrigues 3, Shafali 12) Gaur returns and Kemp pulls off a cracking dive at extra cover to collect one-handed after the ball pinged off Shafali’s bat. A leading edge follows from Jemimah, but the ball lands safely in the off side. Shafali says enough is enough and just goes full-baseball with a smack down the ground for four. Gaur responds well, stringing together three dots.
3rd over: India 22-1 (Shafali 7, Rodrigues 2) Jemimah throws her bat at an outswinger and just about squeezes the ball through cover for a couple. A tidy, impactful opening over comes to an end from England’s star player.
Sciver-Brunt arrives and delivers quickly! It’s an inswinger to the left-hander and the ball misses the big leg-side hoick.
2nd over: India 20-0 (Shafali 7, Mandhana 6) Lauren Bell takes the ball from the other end, and she gets a bouncer in there but a tidy start is hurt by wides down the leg-side, all the way to the rope. Bell’s got the ball hooping in to the right-hander, but is just searching for her line.
1st over: India 12-0 (Shafali 6, Mandhana 5) Gaur begins with a leg-side wide and is a bit too straight later on, with Shafali flicking behind square on the leg side for four, despite a fine diving effort from Freya Kemp. There’s a bit of swing from Gaur, but Mandhana gets in on the fun with the final ball of the over, pumping a fuller deliver straight down the ground for four.
Alright, we’re underway. Mahika Gaur opens up for England, with Shafali Verma on strike.
What a recovery from England after Renuka took two in two at the start of the innings – Sciver-Brunt and Wyatt blitzed away, the former hitting 77, the latter 75. India seemed taken aback by it, losing their way in the field and not finding much control at all with the ball. Renuka was impressive, taking 3-27 from her four overs, and Patil, while going for 44, showed on debut that she’s got something about her. I’m gonna nip out for a snack but this should be a fun second-half if Mandhana and co. get going.
Patil is entrusted with he final over of the innings, and after a couple of singles Jones middles the ball over long-on for six. It was in the slot, and Jones enjoyed it. A thump over extra cover brings Jones four more runs, and with two deliveries left England are seven away from the magic 200 … and a four follows from Jones, Patil dropping short and getting swatted away through midwicket. And then a wicket to finish the innings! Jones gets a full toss but can’t take advantage, finding Rodrigues at deep midwicket. It nearly went over her, but she managed to keep her balance and hold on. Jones finishes on 23, Kemp stays unbeaten on 5.
19th over: England 181-5 (Jones 8, Kemp 4) Freya Kemp begins with a cracking thump for four to the long-off rope.
Renuka is handed the penultimate over and she begins very well, with a dot followed by a couple of singles. Jones is proactive, shuffling across the crease for a leg-side swipe, which is cut off brilliantly by the brave Rodrigues at deep midwicket, leaping at a bouncing ball. And then a wicket! It’s a slower ball from Renuka, well wide of off stump, and Sciver-Brunt throws the bat at it to produce an outside edge … Ghosh then leaps brilliantly to her right to take the catch.
18th over: England 173-4 (Sciver-Brunt 74, Jones 7) A bit of respite for India, with Patil bowling an impressive over, putting a stop to the flow of regular boundaries… ah wait, Amy Jones finishes the set with a funky four behind square on the leg side. It just won’t stop as England dream of 200.
Patil bowls a straight one and Knight plays around it, losing her off stump. A first international wicket for the young offie.
17th over: England 164-3 (Knight 6, Sciver-Brunt 73) Full and wide from Vastrakar, and Knight hits through point – Jemimah Rodrigues should cut it off but she fumbles and it’s four. India have been poor in the field tonight. Another full toss later on is pulled away with ease by Sciver-Brunt for a boundary, and then comes an attempted ramp, which isn’t middled but squeezes past the keeper for yet another four. And then another one, Sciver-Brunt thumping another full bunger through the off side. Nineteen off it.
16th over: England 145-3 (Knight 1, Sciver-Brunt 59) Heather Knight’s into the mix for England, and Ishaque is punished with the final ball of her spell, Sciver-Brunt sweeping to the fine-leg rope for four.
There won’t be a ton for Wyatt; instead there’s a maiden international wicket for Ishaque. Bowled out of the front of the hand, the ball skids past the advance of Wyatt, and Ghosh collects to deliver the stumping. That’s the end of a monster partnership.
15th over: England 140-2 (Wyatt 75, Sciver-Brunt 55) Deepti pulls out of her action at the very last second, leading to flashbacks of the run-out she pulled off at the non-striker’s end at Lord’s last year. The off-spinner concedes three singles, but the threat of a tight over is ruined by Wyatt, who finds the gap at deep midwicket to collect four.
14th over: England 132-2 (Wyatt 69, Sciver-Brunt 53) Kanika Ahuja enters the game, and drops far too short with her first delivery – the off-spinner is pulled away by Wyatt for four. India just can’t seem to find any control at the moment, with Ahuja pulled away again for another boundary moments later. Wyatt’s racing away, this landmark T20 for her turning into a very memorable affair.
13th over: England 120-2 (Wyatt 59, Sciver-Brunt 51) Ishaque’s difficult night continues, with a Wyatt boundary followed by a Sciver-Brunt one – that’s the fifty up for the all-rounder, too.
12th over: England 109-2 (Wyatt 53, Sciver-Brunt 46) Patil’s got a really tidy action – up and over to get the off-break spinning – and she gets a return chance off Sciver-Brunt … but it’s put down. The 100 stand comes up with a Wyatt six off long-off – and that’s her fifty too!
Oh my, what’s going on here, India?! Wyatt gives long-on catching practice, but Vastrakar puts it down, and I think the ball ends up coming off her leg.
11th over: England 99-2 (Wyatt 45, Sciver-Brunt 45) Renuka returns and Sciver-Brunt keeps on smackin’ it. Touch too short and the batter pulls behind square for four. Then she thumps another ball through the leg-side – in front of square – for yet another boundary. Sciver-Brunt’s playing like she’s the best in the playground – and I reckon she knows it, too.
10th over: England 89-2 (Sciver-Brunt 36, Wyatt 44) Shreyanka Patil’s off-breaks get a go, and after a few singles Wyatt pumps a fuller delivery down the ground for four. She nearly provides a catching opportunity with her next shot, but the ball lands safely over extra cover. England were 2-2; halfway through the innings, they’re now on for a big one.
9th over: England 80-2 (Sciver-Brunt 34, Wyatt 37) Wyatt cuts Deepti away for a couple, and England are giving India’s fielders a very decent workout, knocking it about for ones and twos. Deepti shows off a fine yorker but Wyatt responds next ball with a terrific shot, shuffling to the off side before slapping across the line and behind square for six.
8th over: England 69-2 (Sciver-Brunt 33, Wyatt 29) Ishaque returns and Wyatt goes aerial over cover for four. And then there’s a full toss – in fact, it’s a no ball – and Wyatt swats it away through the leg side for another boundary. A tricky, nervy start from the spinner on debut. Wyatt can’t take advantage of the free hit, but she plays another nice shot over the off-side ring next ball, picking up a couple. Oooh that’s a bit village – Wyatt didn’t get her bat in at the non-striker’s end when running that two, so they’ve had to take a run off.
7th over: England 56-2 (Sciver-Brunt 32, Wyatt 18) Vastrakar continues, and there’s a leg-side shout against Wyatt … but India opt against a review. Looked a bit leg-sideish. Sciver-Brunt, seeing it big now, shows quick hands to pull away behind square for four. The ball’s pinging off her bat, and she brings up the 50 partnership with a corker – smashing Vastrakar past mid-off for four.
6th over: England 44-2 (Wyatt 16, Sciver-Brunt 23) Deepti Sharma’s into play, and Sciver-Brunt immediately toys with her, cutting behind square for four before a deft reverse-sweep brings two. Ooooh, fiery – Sciver-Brunt hits one back to the bowler and Deepti launches a shy at the stumps which gets the batter in a bit of a tangle. Deepti strings three dots together but Sciver-Brunt launches a brilliant sweep to end the over with a boundary. England have found calm after that first-over storm.
5th over: England 34-2 (Sciver-Brunt 13, Wyatt 16) Sciver-Brunt shows off some aggression, advancing down the pitch to Vastrakar before slicing the ball high and over point for four.
4th over: England 28-2 (Sciver-Brunt 8, Wyatt 15) Saika Ishaque lives out the dream, bowling her first ball in international cricket – Wyatt picks up three off it with another off-side thwack. The left-arm spinner just gets the ball to skid on a bit, no turn in sight, and after a decent start she’s a touch too straight – Sciver-Brunt sweeps away for four. The bowler responds well, securing a dot.
3rd over: England 19-2 (Wyatt 11, Sciver-Brunt 3) Renuka continues, and Wyatt finds the first boundary of the day, playing a lovely cut through point. This is Wyatt’s 150th T20I by the way, a cracking achievement. She’s absolutely peppering the off side, even as Renuka brings the ball back into her.
2nd over: England 9-2 (Wyatt 5, Sciver-Brunt 2) Wyatt punches through the off side for a couple of twos, with Pooja Vastrakar into the attack for India. I’ve just seen another replay of that Capsey wicket – what a beaut, eh, that jag off the pitch befuddling England’s No.3. Sciver-Brunt scampers back for two after a punch of her own through the off side. Vastrakar responds with a nippy outswinger that beats the attempted drive.
1st over: England 2-2 (Wyatt 0, Sciver-Brunt 0) Nat Sciver-Brunt gets her bat in the way and England can breathe. Just about.
Carnage! Renuka’s on a hat-trick! She gets that seam wobbling down, and the ball jags off the pitch, away from Capsey’s defensive prod, rattling the off stump. A nightmare start for England.
Dunkley’s gets off strike with an edgy clip off the pads for one. Renuka greets Wyatt with a jaffa, sneaking one just past outside edge. A leg-bye follows before Dunkley goes! It’s a very odd dismissal, with the ball sneaking back into the right-hander, who just pokes tamely at the ball and drags it onto her stumps.
Alright, let’s get going. Sophia Dunkley’s on strike, Renuka Singh’s got the ball.
Happy days for the two debutants. England already know a bit about them: Ishaque, 28, played alongside Nat Sciver-Brunt and Issy Wong at the WPL earlier this year for Mumbai Indians, taking 15 wickets in the tournament at 16.26. Patil, 21, turned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore alongside Heather Knight.
One to keep an eye out for. Mahika Gaur, just 17 years old, made her England debut in the summer, more than four years on from her international debut for the UAE as a 12-year-old. Madness. She’s left-arm, tall, hoops it about with the new ball and she’ll probably add a yard or two in pace as she develops.
India have a couple of international debutants: Saika Ishaque, a left-arm spinner, and all-rounder Shreyanka Patil.
Harmanpeet Kaur wins it, and England have been told to have a bat. She reckons chasing’s a better option and wants to put pressure on England with this being the series opener. Fair dos.
England’s A side have been in action over in Mumbai, too, winning their three-match T20 series last week against India A 2-1. Good to read that Issy Wong’s been back among the wickets, having had a difficult summer where it seemed she’d lost all rhythm with her bowling. Also, how’s this for a grab from Rhianna Southby, who really made a name for herself behind the stumps at The Hundred earlier this year.
Here’s Raf Nicholson’s preview, with offie Charlie Dean unlikely to feature. Sophie Ecclestone, back from a shoulder injury, is set to make her return.
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to coverage of the opening T20I between England and India at the Wankhede Stadium! It’s that time of year where you’ve got to be real with people, so I’ll level with you – I’m a tad more excited for the Test match later this month, which will be India’s first at home in nine (!) years. But this three-match T20I series will be stellar too, pinky-promise.
England, of course, had a strange end to their summer, that glorious Ashes series followed by a shock 2-1 loss to Sri Lanka in the T20Is before normal service was resumed in the 50-over stuff. They struggled against Sri Lanka’s tweakers, so a trip to India is going to be quite the challenge and one they’ll need to embrace if they want to win next year’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Anywho, play begins at 1.30pm BST and I’ll be here to take you through to the close. Drop me a line with your thoughts, queries, Christmas wishes, song requests, darkest secrets, whatever you fancy. Cheers!