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Rana heroics deny England as India tail bats out the final day

Eng v Ind, only Test, day four, report

A stunning knock from Sneh Rana saved the Test Match for India as England were left frustrated by the tail on the fourth and final day in Bristol.

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India were in a perilous position when all-rounder and number eight Rana came to the crease with her side 189/6 and just 24 runs ahead of England with plenty of time remaining in the game.

But Rana was imperious, building substantial partnerships with Shikha Pandey (18) and Taniya Bhatia (44*) to see out the rest of the day in style.

The 27-year-old moved to 80* inside the final hour of play with a flick to the leg-side boundary, bringing up the century stand with Bhatia. And that milestone proved to be the final act of the Test, with Heather Knight shaking hands to bring a fascinating match to a close in a draw.

Sneh Rana batted India to safety on the fourth day in Bristol (Getty Images)
Sneh Rana batted India to safety on the fourth day in Bristol (Getty Images)

India had resumed the day on 83/1, but suffered a disappointing start to proceedings when young opener Shafali Verma dragged a full toss from Sophie Ecclestone to Katherine Brunt at long-on to fall for 63, adding just eight runs to her overnight score.

A half-century from Deepti Sharma and a solid knock of 39 from Punam Raut helped India build a lead, but when the excellent Ecclestone bowled Sharma for 54 on the stroke of lunch it sparked a mini-collapse.

India lost three wickets for just four runs either side of the interval to give England hope of being able to chase down a gettable target on the final afternoon.

But Rana had other ideas, and the all-rounder accepted the applause from England when Knight opted to shake hands for the draw, with any hope of a win for the home side long since gone.

“I’m feeling really great that I'm able to contribute something for my team,” Rana said after the match. 

“It's an emotional moment for me, being picked by an India team after five long years. That's an emotional and really proud moment for me. From here, I'm taking so much confidence.”

England’s stand-out bowler Ecclestone finished with four wickets in each innings, while Rana – with 4/138 with the ball and that match-saving 80* – also shone. But Player of the Match went to 17-year-old opening batter Verma, whose half-centuries in each innings wrote her into the record books.

“Thanks to our team for supporting me in my journey," the youngster said, after scoring 159 runs in the match.

"I was just thinking to play to my strengths, and with confidence. I just want to be a good cricketer for my side, that's it."

England and India will return to Bristol on June 27 for the first of a three-match One Day International series, which will be followed by three T20I fixtures in July.

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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