England Women vs India Women 2nd T20: Smriti Mandhana POWERS Indians to eight-wicket win

Smriti Mandhana scored 79 off 53 balls as India Women cricket team won 2nd T20 against England by eight wickets in Derby. 

England Women vs India Women 2nd T20: Smriti Mandhana POWERS Indians to eight-wicket win Smriti Mandhana en route to scoring 79 against England Women in the 2nd T20. (Source: Twitter)

Team India opener Smriti Mandhana smashed an unbeaten 79 off 53 balls with 13 boundaries to set up India Women cricket team’s series-levelling eight-wicket win at Derby on Tuesday (September 13) night. Chasing 143 to win, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur remained unbeaten on 29 off 22 as India reached home with more than 3 overs to spare.

England had fought back from 54/5 in the 10th over to post a total of 142/6 thanks to a brilliant half-century from the 17-year-old Freya Kemp, who became the youngest woman batter to reach the landmark in T20 internationals. But India severely punished the bowling of the left-armer, with Shafali Verma (20 off 17) and Smriti Mandhana smashing 19 runs off her one over, during their opening stand of 55 from 35 balls.

Shafali was caught and bowled by Sophie Ecclestone at the end of the powerplay, but Mandhana powered on to a 36-ball half-century. Alongside her, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur – dropped by Danni Wyatt at deep midwicket on 20 – sailed along to 29 from 22 balls as India romped home.

“After the last match we needed to come back stronger and level the series. I was pushing myself not to play a rash shot and take it deep. It’s good to bat, good wicket. I found my touch back, timing the ball the way I want to. You go out as an opener and try to give your team a good start,” Mandhana said after the match.

“I’m happy to contribute. Depends on the day, and the bowlers. She (Shafali Verma) tries to dominate, but knows my strengths and her strengths, so we target different bowlers. Whoever is batting good on the day, it's not a conversation it just happens,” Mandhana added.

Skipper Harmanpreet was also pleased by the improved display of her side in the second T20 match. “Definitely, the way we played today I’m really happy. We discussed those things from Durham and put that into practice. We have plans for the batters, it’s important to execute,” Harmanpreet said during the post-match presentation.

“Whenever we bat together, we have confidence in how to calculate the innings,” Harmanpreet said. “We know when to hit the boundaries and take those singles.”

England had found themselves three down in three overs – setting up their worst powerplay since March 2021. Sophia Dunkley was stumped off Deepti Sharma in the second over, while six balls later, Renuka Singh Thakur got just enough away movement to tempt Wyatt into nicking one to slip.

Brief scores: England Women 142/6 (Freya Kemp 51 n.o., Maia Bouchier 34; Sneh Rana 3/24) lost to India women 146/2 in 16.4 ovs (Smriti Mandhana 79 n.o., Harmanpreet Kaur 29 n.o.)

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