IND-W Vs ENG-W, 1st T20I: India Start Three-Games Series With A Comprehensive Loss To England

The Indian Women's National Cricket Team's wait to beat rivals England at home must go on for now, after the Women in Blue suffered a 38-run loss at the Wankhede in Mumbai on December 6, 2023. Here's what transpired in the meeting between the two

IND-W vs ENG-W, Mumbai

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 match series here on Wednesday. (As It Happened | Cricket News)

After opting to bowl, India dished out a shoddy fielding and bowling performance -- except for Renuka Singh's 3/27 -- to allow England post 197 for 6 and then could only score 159 for 6 in 20 overs to lose the match and concede 1-0 lead to 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 mount a serious challenge to the big target.

India needed 74 runs from the last five overs and that turned out to be 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 waged a lone 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 batter recording her seventh fifty in the format.

India’s chase took early blows when Smriti Mandhana (6) was cleaned up by Nat Sciver-Brunt in the third over and Freya Kemp struck on her first delivery, getting Jemimah Rodrigues (4) caught behind in the sixth. 

But despite losing two key batters, India were 53/2 in the powerplay and looked set for having a crack at the big chase until England’s spinners came into fray.

Coming off an injury lay-off, there were no visible signs of struggle for the parsimonious Ecclestone who cleaned up India skipper Harmanpreet (26 off 21 balls, 3x4s, 1x6s) when her partnership with Shafali started to threaten the visitors. 

Harmanpreet also looked to be getting into her elements but her charge was halted by Ecclestone who cramped the Indian skipper for room 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 asking rate kept getting out of India's reach and the game’s fate was decided much before the final ball.

England also did not make glaring mistakes like India did in the first half in the field, with the visitors' fielding in the deep being top-notch and their players taking 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) powered England Women to 197 for six after early stuttering. 

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 they were asked to bat first. 

India seamer Renuka Singh Thakur (4-0-27-3) was the pick among the bowlers as she struck twice in a row in the first over to dismiss Sophie Dunkley (1) and Alice Capsey (0). 

But Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt’s counter-attack saw England dominating the remainder of the first innings. 

The hosts also appeared to have lost the steam soon after the early breakthroughs, failing to drive home the advantage as they were guilty of poor bowling and fielding.

Wyatt, who took charge of the recovery after the early blows, stroked her way to a 47-ball 75 studded with eight fours and two sixes to record her 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).

On the other hand, Sciver-Brunt smacked as many as 13 fours to make 77 off only 53 balls, unleashing powerful hits on both the sides — particularly sweep shots — for her fifth T20I half-century against India.