Harmanpreet Kaur expressed satisfaction in the way her team saw off England in the second T20I to level the series, highlighting the players executed their plans well across all aspects. Smriti Mandhana, meanwhile, spoke of her match-winning performance as well as the role of Shafali Verma.
After a thumping defeat by nine wickets in the first T20I, India Women came back strongly to defeat England at the County Ground in Derby and bring back the series on equal pegging. Having chosen to bat first, the hosts were put under pressure early and lost quick wickets to be left reeling at 16-3. Maia Bouchier's handy knock of 34 and Freya Kemp's maiden T20I half-century rescued England from shallow waters and took them to a defendable total of 142. However, the Women in Blue made light work of the chase as they dispatched boundaries all over the ground to get home with eight wickets and more than three overs to spare.
"I'm really happy, we played well. Everyone was looking forward to winning today, that's something I'm happy about. We do have plans for all batters, but it was important that we executed them, the fielders supported the bowlers well," skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was quoted saying by NDTV after the match on Tuesday night.
A definite highlight of the first innings was the way in which Radha Yadav was throwing herself onto the ground and making improbable stops. She affected a run-out from deep in the third over before taking a stunning diving catch to help get rid of Bryony Smith.
"We are improving as a fielding side, the way Radha fielded, she got injured in the last game, I'm happy with her effort today," Kaur added.
India's chase was largely down to the 69-run partnership for the third wicket between Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana. The duo never gave the opposition a chance and took their team to the chequered flag with ease.
"Whenever we bat together, we have the confidence, we can calculate the approach well, the right-left combination is always a positive for us," Harmanpreet revealed.
Mandhana was awarded the player of the match award for a flamboyant 79 off just 53 deliveries, hitting a remarkable 13 boundaries in the process. The 26-year-old opener is in exemplary form, excelling at the Commonwealth Games before dominating at The Hundred.
"We were keen to come back stronger and level the series. I was pushing myself and happy that I could contribute to the victory. Good weather to bat (in England), before the CWG games, I think I found the going touch. In T20 cricket, you'd look to try and get a good start to the team. Happy to contribute to the team," Smriti said.
The path for success was paved by a steady 55-run opening stand which lasted the exact length of the powerplay and was worth 55 runs. Shafali Verma looked confident while scoring her 20 runs, stroking four boundaries.
"It depends on the day and the bowlers. Two years back, she (Shafali Verma) perhaps was just trying to dominate, but she now knows whom to target and to respect good bowling. The good thing is we can both take advantage of the batting powerplay, whoever is in good touch takes the lead in doing so," Mandhana concluded.