Kate Cross

England claim ODI series victory over India

Eng v Ind, 2nd ODI, report

Hit For Six!

An unbeaten fifty from Sophia Dunkley to compliment a second ODI five-wicket haul for Kate Cross has sealed series victory for England in Taunton.

Taking guard at 92/4 and with England's chase of 222 looking precarious, newcomer Dunkley stamped her authority on the match with five fours and a six, finishing on 73 from 81 balls.

Dunkley and all-rounder Katherine Brunt controlled the latter stages of the match, as the pair teamed up in a partnership of 92, completing the chase with 15 balls to spare.

Asked to bat, India managed only a marginally better batting performance than they did in the first ODI, posting 221 in the 50 overs.

They got off to an ideal start, with enterprising young batter Shafali Verma combining well with Smriti Mandhana to put on 56 for the opening wicket.

However, India couldn’t build on that foundation. Mandhana was dismissed for a 30-ball 22 in the 12th over, and that triggered a slide in the Indian line-up. Jemimah Rodrigues, the new batter, fell for 8 before Verma followed suit in the 17th over.

Verma looked good for a maiden ODI half-century, playing just her second match in the format, but she fell six short of the milestone.

England’s chief destructor was the medium pacer Kate Cross. Cross picked two of the first three wickets to fall, and then ran through the middle-order to end with a second five-wicket haul in ODIs.

India had captain Mithali Raj to thank for posting the total they did. Her 92-ball 59 was her 57th half-century in ODIs, and it kept the Indian innings moving, even as wickets fell at the other end.

Late cameos from Jhulan Goswami (run-a-ball 19*) and Poonam Yadav (10 off 15) were also valuable as India’s innings crashed to a halt.

Lauren Winfield-Hill provided the backbone of England's reply, making 42 from 57 balls, though Tammy Beaumont and skipper Heather Knight (both making 10) fell at the other end to Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Yadav respectively.  

Goswami gave little away in a spell of 1/39 from her 10 overs, with Shikha Pandey (1/37) equally economical. In spite of this, England timed their assault, as Amy Jones (28 from 34 balls) supported Dunkley to hand her team control of the match.

Yadav claimed Jones for her second scalp, though went for over six an over, as Dunkley and Brunt ramped things up with boundaries against the leg-spinner. Holding the aces, the pair brought the required run rate to under four an over, and took the sting out of the match despite the last-ditch efforts of India's returning opening pair of Goswami and Pandey.

The teams now travel to Worcester, with the third match to be played on Saturday.

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