England registered an 18-run win (DLS method) in the opening T20I against India, as Nat Sciver smashed her way to the fastest fifty from her country in Northampton. With the help of Sciver’s 24-ball fifty, and Amy Jones’ 27-ball 43, England managed to score 177/7 in their stipulated 20 overs, while in reply India managed only 54/3 in 8.4 overs, before the match ended.
Hosts England were off to a rollicking start as Tammy Beaumont and Danielle Wyatt put on quickfire 56 for the first wicket, and laid a good foundation for a big score. After that, Sciver took matters in her own hands and struck eight fours and a six, in her innings of 55. WIcket-keeper Jones too kept up the run-rate and smashed four fours and two sixes, as Indian bowlers continued to leak runs.
Pacer Arundhati Reddy and spinner Radha Yadav had a forgettable day as the duo gave away runs at an economy of 10.30 and 11, respectively. Other bowlers used by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur were expensive too as Deepti Sharma returned with figures of 0/38 from her four overs. Surprisingly, spinner Sneh Rana, who has been the find of the series, was only used for two over, where she gave away only 14 runs.
But the star of the day with the ball for India was veteran Shikha Pandey who picked up three crucial wickets by giving away only 22 runs. She also bagged Jones’ wicket who was wreaking havoc on the Indian bowlers. But the sole credit for that wicket goes to Harleen Deol, who took a stunning catch at the boundary. The latter first stopped the ball from going for a six, and then made a diving effort to catch the ball inside the boundary.
As far as India’s chase is concerned, opener Shafali Verma perished early and the visitors were put under immense pressure. Smriti Mandhana looked in fine touch during her innings of 29 from 17 balls, but was dismissed by Sciver. Harmanpreet Kaur failed once again in the series and was out to Sarah Glenn this time around.
“We were batting according to DLS, unfortunately we kept losing wickets. We knew there would be rain after 8:30 PM. We couldn’t make it due to back-to-back wickets," said Harmanpreet after the game.
Brief scores: England 177/7 in 20 overs (Natalie Sciver 55, Amy Ellen Jones 43; Shikha Pandey 3-22) beat India 54/3 in 8.4 overs (Smriti Mandhana 29; Sarah Glenn 1-6, Katherine Brunt 1-11) by 18 runs (DLS method).