The Indian women’s team held their nerve as they sealed a nervy and thrilling one-wicket win over England and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The last pair added 18 runs to help India chase down 208 after Smriti Mandhana laid a perfect platform with a 109-ball 86.
Brief scores: England Women 207 in 49.3 overs (Fran Wilson 45, Tammy Beaumont 37; Poonam Yadav 4-30) lost to India Women 208/9 in 49.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 86; Sophie Ecclestone 4-37) by one wicket.
In the first game of the three-match ODI series, England Women won the toss and batted first on a pitch that looked quite dry. England openers gave the team a solid start as Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont added 71 runs for the opening stand. With things looking threatening for the Indian team, leggie Poonam Yadav provided the much-needed breakthrough as she dismissed Wyatt for 27.
It was the beginning of a big collapse as Poonam Yadav ran through the England top-order as she picked up 3 quick wickets to bring India back in the game. The other spinners Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma joined the party as well and reduced England to 141/7. However, it was Fran Wilson’s 41 and No. 9 Danielle Hazell’s 33 that propelled the visitor’s total to 207. Yadav finished with 4/30 while Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma shared 5 wickets between them. It was a collective bowling performance by the Indian bowlers who were guilty of giving away too many runs against Australia.
Chasing a tricky total of 208, India got off to a good start with new opener Devika Vaidya accompanying Smriti Mandhana. The duo added 37 in just 6.4 overs before the former was dismissed by Danielle Wyatt. However, the shock of the day came when milestone women Mithali Raj bagged a laborious 8-ball duck. This reduced India 41/2, but Mandhana then shared a couple of fifty-run partnerships with Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma for the third and fourth wicket respectively to stabilize the innings for the hosts.
However, both Harmanpreet (21) and Deepti (23) didn’t convert their starts and their wickets along with that of Mandhana's left India at 171/5. The lower middle-order which has been a bit under-pressure once again failed to deliver as India collapsed to 190/9. When Shikha Pandey was the 9th wicket to fall, things seemed to be panning out like the World Cup final. India still needed 18 in the last 3 overs with just one wicket left. But Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht who were the stars with the ball, helped India get close. It was only in the 49th over that the duo scored 12 runs off Anya Shrubsole to reduce the equation to 2 runs. With just one needed to tie in the last over, Bisht took a single off the first ball and then a wide gave India a memorable one-wicket win which gave them a 1-0 lead in the series.
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