That’s it from me today, Heather Knight’s England take the T20I series 2-1 and both squads have three short days to dig out the whites before battle commences in the first Women’s Test match in India in nearly a decade. It’ll be England’s first Test there since way back in 2005.
We’ll have OBO coverage of that game and plenty more over the coming weeks. Thanks for your comments and company, goodnight!
Heather Knight has the final say:
It was a good learning experience for us, we decided to rest some players and give others an opportunity. The crowd was noisy! Having that composure would be a great learning for youngsters. We didn’t quite apply ourselves well enough… 140 would have been a good score but we were probably a little bit short on getting a total for our bowlers to defend. We take lot of positives, we did well to put the pressure back on them and also learnt a lot about some of our younger players.”
Nat Sciver-Brunt is Player of the Series (despite being rested today) :
Really happy to perform in the first two games, India played well and made it difficult. I’ll probably look to work on my tempo and to committing to shots, knowing when to consolidate and go big. There’s always going to be a different situation, adaptability is important. Whatever the team needs, I am up for it.”
England look a lot more assured with NSB in the team, she’ll be an integral cog in the upcoming Test match too.
Well, if I talk about all the games then we improved day by day! We needed a game plan. The more we play, the better we will be. The wicket was a bit tricky, we just wanted to hang in there and do what is required. Some balls were turning, some were going straight, sometimes you can’t help thinking about that. Those things play a big role when you are batting.”
Smriti Mandhana speaks:
“The first two matches didn’t go the way we wanted and we knew that this win will be important going into the Test despite losing the series. Back to back games are a little tough on the body… I would have been pleased had I finished the game (not out) but glad I could contribute.
I think we bowled pretty well… we always knew the second innings would be difficult. We had to apply ourselves in the chase. The way Amanjot played at the end, I’m really proud, the kind of composure she showed, it’s what we look at in the dressing room.”
What a cameo from Amanjot Kaur! She comes to the crease with 11 needed from 12 and Sophie Ecclestone having just removed Ghosh. She drove her first ball on the up through the covers for four to bring the crowd back to life… two singles followed before Ecclestone sent down a rare full toss that Amanjot pounced on and clubbed through the covers. India need one to win… THERE IT IS! Amanjot plays a delightful reverse-sweep that runs away for her third four in four balls.
India get over the line with an over to spare, they save their blushes to make the series a 2-1 defeat rather than 3-0.
Aye aye. Clean bowled!
18th over: India 116-2 (Harmanpreet 4, Ghosh 2) Richa Ghosh joins her skipper in the middle with things heating up in Mumbai, India can only manage four runs off the over to leave themselves with 11 needed from 12 balls and Sophie Ecclestone prowling at the top of her mark with her dander up. Big over incoming…
Knight turns to Eccestone to rescue something from the dregs of this game. Mandhana scoops unconvincingly but manages to pick up four. But she’s gone next ball – uppish drive caught by Dunkley in the covers. England have a sniff, a barely perceptible sniff… but a sniff all the same.
17th over: India 112-4 (Harmanpreet 4)
16th over: India 102-3 (Mandhana 42, Harmanpreet 2) Four byes! Harmanpreet goes down to lap-sweep her first ball, misses it entirely but gets in the way of Amy Jones’s sight of the ball in the process. England did not need that. 25 from 24 needed for India.
There’s one! Sharma knicks Kemp behind and Amy Jones clings onto a juggling catch. Harmanpreet is striding out to the crease, she don’t look injured, she looks like she means bizniss.
15th over: India 93-2 (Mandhana 40, Sharma 12) India move closer to victory with another decisive over – 11 runs coming off Capsey’s third over. Mandhana showed some fleet footwork by dancing down and driving for four whilst Sharma showcased a deft touch by gliding away for four through backward point.
India need 34 from 30, England need a
Christmas miracle a lorra lorra wickets.
14th over: India 82-2 (Mandhana 34, Sharma 7) Danielle Gibson comes into the attack and the shackles are loosened by India! Four runs fly away off an easy tickle by Sharma, an over-pitched delivery from Gibson to begin with. Four more! Gibson goes short and is hauled away to the fence by Mandhana. Don’t bowl there to a batter of Smriti’s calibre. India take 12 off the over and need 45 from 36.
13th over: India 70-2 (Mandhana 27, Sharma 2) England are sneaking their way back into the match as Capsey comes on and manages to get away with just a single off her second over. Just keep an eye on that run-rate – India need 57 from 42 – they can’t afford too many more deathly quiet overs.
Phewf. England needed that. The favoured sweep does for Rodrigues in the end as she misses a straight one and reviews in rain. A sparkly innings comes to a close, Deepti Sharma is the new batter at number four, rather than Harmanpreet. The India skipper jarred her leg in the turf at the end of the England innings but the camera pans to her padded up in the changing rooms so she can’t be too crook.
12th over: India 69-2 (Mandhana 26, Sharma 1)
11th over: India 67-1 (Mandhana 26, Rodrigues 29) Freya Kemp begins with some pace after the hydration stoppage. She struggles with her line and gifts two wides that England can ill-afford. Make that three. Signs of nerves from the 18 year old. Gah, that won’t help – Mandhana pongoes the next ball from wide of off stump over wide long-on for SIX! She got hold of that one. Eleven off the over for India.
England need to go full Moloko.
10th over: India 56-1 (Mandhana 19, Rodrigues 28) Charlie Dean replaces Alice Capsey and is nudged away for a couple of singles. England need wickets at the Wankhede. Jemimah Rodrigues has been excellent on the sweep so far in this innings, she plays it once again to pick up a single and after half of the overs it is all to play for.
India have nine wickets in hand to knock off the 71 runs needed from 60 balls. Time for a drink – I’m going to hotfoot it to the kitchen in search of something warming as darkness begins to descend here in South London.
9th over: India 53-1 (Mandhana 18, Rodrigues 26) That won’t do anything for Ecclestone’s blood pressure – Mandhana drops to one knee and sweeps for SIX! India manage to get nine off the over, England starting to get a bit ragged in pursuit of the breakthrough.
8th over: India 44-1 (Mandhana 11, Rodrigues 24) Alice Capsey into the attack. Starts with a rank full toss that she gets away with, Smriti plinking it rather than giving it the full clobbering it deserved. Tighter stuff after though, India can only eke three runs off it. 83 from 72 needed for India. Here comes Ecclestone for her second, she’s still visibly ticking from the previous over. Let’s do this.
7th over: India 41-1 (Mandhana 10, Rodrigues 23) Huge over for India as Ecclestone is given some tap! Rodrigues sweeps powerfully for four, drops to point for two and then bunted through mid-wicket for four more! Cheers and jeers in the crowd and Ecclestone and Rodrigues share a stare and perhaps a few words.
6th over: India 31-1 (Mandhana 10, Rodrigues 13) Rodrigues gets four off the first ball of the next over too, steering in the gap for four off a length ball from Mahika Gaur. A single brings Smriti on strike and she pounces on a half-tracker and nails it for another boundary. End of Powerplay, game still in the balance. It’s Sophie Ecclestone time…
5th over: India 22-1 (Mandhana 6, Rodrigues 8) Charlie Dean returns and a flighted first delivery is swept powerfully by Rodrigues to the square-leg boundary. England are keeping the pressure cooker on through, seven in total off the over which is what India need to go at throughout, they are currently pootling along at four-ish. A couple of lusty blows or quick wickets could swing this game.
4th over: India 15-1 (Mandhana 5, Rodrigues 1) Tidy-ish over from Mahika Gaur, two leg-side wides are a bit of a gift but there’s just one run off the bat as Rodrigues drives to long-off.
3rd over: India 12-1 (Mandhana 5, Rodrigues 1) England appeal for an LBW against new batter Jemimah Rodrigues… and burn a review as the ball pitched outside leg-stump. Four dots follow for Kemp to keep the pressure on, Rodrigues gets off the mark with a flick behind leg.
Freya Kemp replaces Dean after just one over… and makes an impact straightaway! Verma aims a mahoosive swing at a length ball, misses and is comprehensively cleaned up. England have their first.
2nd over: India 11-0 (Mandhana 5, Verma 6) Verma greets Gaur with a drive down the ground for four! Gulp. Gaur does well to come back and restrict India to just a further single off it. England can’t afford a hefty opening stand to develop.
1st over: India 6-0 (Mandhana 5, Verma 1) Charlie Dean begins with three dots but then offers a smidge of width and is cut for four by Mandhana. A couple of singles make it six off the over. Mahika Gaur is going to start at the other end.
Barely time to boil the kettle as India’s batters emerge in Mumbai. Charlie Dean is going to open the bowling, early wickets very much needed. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma with bat in hand for India.
“It looks like England have the end-of-term blues,” suggests John Starbuck. “Just happy enough to do the required then get out of there. I doubt Knight would like a 2-1 win on her record as a 3-0 is so much better (away) but a series win does do the trick.
John also sends through this ditty, England need to be in the mood to make a fist of this match.
Action galore off the final over of the innings. Knight drives Amanjot down the ground for… SIX! Great shot by the skip. And again! Knight repeats the stroke and gets SIX more to take her to a dogged FIFTY. Well batted.
Knight goes next ball, flat batting a length ball to the fielder at long-on which sees Mahika Gaur arrive at the crease. Ah. Gaur is caught off the final ball of the innings.
India require 127 to win!
19th over: England 113-8 (Knight 40, Dean 15) Deepti comes back on and Knight sweeps her powerfully through square for four more! England finishing with something of a flourish thanks to their skipper. One over to go.