Dashing opener broke a flurry of records as England chased down India’s 198/4 with eight balls to spare.
A high-scoring thriller between India and England at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai went the way of the visitors, thanks to a magnificent century from Danielle Wyatt. Her 64-ball 124 made up an incredible 62.3 per cent of her team’s total of 199/3 as England won the third match of the Twenty20 International tri-series by seven wickets, getting past India’s 198/4 in 18.4 overs.
If England’s batting effort was based largely on one individual’s contribution, India’s was built on half-centuries from Mithali Raj (53 in 43 balls) and the belligerent Smriti Mandhana (76 in 40 balls), along with strong hands from Harmanpreet Kaur (30 in 22 balls) and Pooja Vastrakar (22 in 10 balls). At the end of the first innings, India would have been confident of registering their first victory of the series, having lost to Australia in the series opener. However, Wyatt put paid to those hopes.
Wyatt broke a flurry of records: Her 124 was the second highest score in a Women’s T20I, and England’s total was the highest in a chase in the format, all of which meant Mandhana’s 25-ball half-century – the fastest by an India Women player – was overshadowed.
Victory gave England the top spot in the standings with two wins in as many matches, while India are bottom of the table, yet to open their account.
Chasing a big total, Wyatt didn’t waste time, hammering three fours in the very first over from Jhulan Goswami. It was a sign of things to come, and there was no stopping Wyatt as she made sure the wicket of Bryony Smith (15) didn’t allow India a way back in.
With Tammy Beaumont for company, Wyatt added 96 runs for the second wicket, during a period of play in which there were boundaries with alarming frequency. By the time that stand was broken, when Beaumont holed out for a 23-ball 35 off Deepti Sharma, England needed 39 runs off the final five overs.
With Wyatt stroking the ball as well as she was, the target was reached with ease, even though she holed out off Sharma in the 17th over. It was too little too late for India, as Heather Knight pushed a single to mid-wicket to bring up the winning run.
Earlier, the Indian openers dovetailed beautifully, putting on a 129-run stand for the opening wicket. After a cautious start in the first two overs, Mandhana got going in the fourth over off Katie George, picking 20 runs. She soon reached her half-century and India crossed the 100-run mark in quick time.
Mandhana holed out off Natalie Sciver in the 13th over, and Raj followed suit, shortly after scoring her own half-century off 40 balls. When Veda Krishnamurthy was dismissed for nought, England seemed to have applied the brakes sufficiently, but Kaur took charge and hammered three fours and a six before being bowled off Tash Farrant.
Vastrakar then hit four boundaires off the final over to boost the total. Had it not been for Wyatt, it might have been more than sufficient.
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