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Katherine Brunt

Wyatt, bowlers deliver series win for England

Ind v Eng, 2nd T20I, report

Danielle Wyatt steered a tight England chase with an unbeaten 64 after the visitors’ bowlers sparkled to restrict India to 111/8 in the second T20I in Guwahati.

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The win on Thursday, 7 March, gave England the three-match series with a game to go. Wyatt’s 55-ball knock saw England through a wobble that lasted until she found Lauren Winfield, with whom she partnered for a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 47 that took England within touching distance. By the end of it, Wyatt had ended up making over 56% of her team’s runs.

That England were left to chase such a middling target was down to a combined bowling effort, led by right-arm pacer Katherine Brunt’s 3/17. Brunt found support all around, with Linsey Smith snaring 2/11 in three overs, and Kate Cross and Anya Shrubsole combining for figures of 2/40 in eight overs.

It meant India never recovered completely from the loss of Smriti Mandhana, who was caught-behind after smacking two sixes in her first four balls. A 35-run stand for the fourth wicket between Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma briefly kept England’s bowlers at bay, but the duo ate up 43 balls as the innings didn’t gather steam.

The partnership ended with the run-out of Sharma for 18. Debutant Bharati Fulmali, who followed Sharma to the crease, made just as many, while Raj stuttered to 20 off 27 balls, top-scoring for her team.

England stumbled similarly, save for Wyatt, whose innings was the difference-maker. India inflicted all their damage through spin. Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav struck first, hitting timber against Tammy Beaumont, while wicket-keeper batter Amy Jones popped a return catch to leg-spinner Poonam Yadav.

Bharati Fulmali loses her stumps
Bharati Fulmali loses her stumps

Ekta Bisht struck in consecutive overs with her left-arm spin to dismiss Natalie Sciver and England captain Heather Knight cheaply.

Wyatt fought through it, running hard between the wickets to keep the score ticking. Winfield’s arrival lifted the load off her shoulders as the No.6 raced to 29 off 23 balls. By the time she fell, in the 18th over, giving off-spinner Sharma her first wicket, she had left England with just nine to get off 14 balls.

Wyatt sealed it with five to spare when she opened the final over with a four off Sharma.

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