India women’s cricket team endured their second loss of the Australia tri-nation women’s T20 series, losing to England women by four wickets at the Junction Oval, Melbourne on Friday.
After being put into bat, India failed to put up a competitive total on the board, managing only 124/6 in 20 overs despite Smriti Mandhana’s 40-ball 45 up the order. Jemimah Rodrigues (23) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (14) were the only other two batswomen to register double-figure scores for India. For England, Anya Shrubsole claimed 3/31 while Katherine Brunt returned 2/23.
Despite an early jitter, that saw England lose opener Amy Jones for one, pinch-hitter Brunt for 8 and Danni Wyatt (14) in the first six overs, Natalie Sciver’s 38-ball 50 drove England to an easy win.
India had lost opener Shafali Verma for eight to Sophie Eccelstone in the sixth over, but Mandhana’s fiery start meant India managed to score 39. Rodrigues and Mandhana then put on 23 runs before Mandhana was sent packing by Brunt. Rodrigues departed two overs later to Shrubole with the score on 80. India’s then collapsed, losing three more wickets for just 23 runs – including the wickets of skipper Kaur and Tanya Bhatia (8) – taken by Shrubole in the 18th over. Veda Krishnamurthy failed to get going and was out after giving a return catch to Brunt. India limped to 124/6.
In the chase, Sciver got together with skipper Heather Knight for a stand of 37 runs after England lost their top-three for 28. Knight was removed by spinner Rajashree Gayakwad, but Sciver found support in Fran Wilson. Sciver became Gayakwad’s third victim of the match as she finished with 3/23 in her four overs.
Wilson then took control of the chase hit an unbeaten 20 off 22 balls to see her team home. With this win, England registered their second victory of the series and jumped to the top of the table. Australia, the third team in the fray have lost one match and won one while India have played three losing two and winning one.