ENGW vs INDW, 1st T20I, Review: Nat Sciver gives England 1-0 lead in rain-marred opener against India
Sciver scored a half-century at a strike rate in excess of 200 and also got Smriti Mandhana's wicket.
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The opening T20I between India Women and England Women on Friday at the County Ground in Northampton was marred by rain. In the end, Heather Knights’ Brits came out trumps by 18 runs (D/L Method) to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Nat Sciver put forth an all-round show and made sure that the hosts carried forward their form from the ODIs to the shorter format as well.
Sciver and Jones stand tall
After being put in to bat first, the English batters fired on all cylinders and racked up 177 in 20 overs. Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont set the tone, scoring 48 runs in the powerplay. Wyatt, who made her comeback to the national team, made a 28-ball 31 before getting out to Radha Yadav.
Beaumont couldn’t go beyond a run-a-ball and skipper Knight succumbed to a failure as well. However, Sciver and Amy Jones stitched together a 78-run stand for the fifth wicket to put England on the driver’s seat.
Sciver was the more aggressive between the two as she scored a 27-ball 55 with eight fours and a six. Jones let her apt support as she notched 43 runs with four fours and two sixes. For India, Shikha Pandey was the standout performer after she got three scalps for 22 runs in four overs.
India lose the plot in run-chase
The visitors got off to the worst possible start while chasing 178 as Katherine Brunt cleaned up the in-form Shafali Verma for a two-ball duck. Smriti Mandhana and Harleen Deol tried to resurrect the innings with a 44-run partnership for the second wicket off 34 balls.
But just when Mandhana was starting to look ominous, Sciver accounted for her wicket. Smriti went on to score 29 with six fours. Harmanpreet Kaur’s poor run of form continued after Sarah Glenn got rid of her.
The wickets of Mandhana and Kaur didn’t go down well for India as they fell behind the D/L par score. Rain interrupted play with India’s score at 54 for three in 8.4 overs. At 9:30 PM local time, the authorities bowed down to the rain gods and the home team went over the line without much fuss.
England: 177/7 in 20 overs – Nat Sciver 55 (27), Amy Jones 43 (27); Shikha Pandey 3/22
India: 54/3 in 8.4 overs – Smriti Mandhana 29 (17), Harleen Deol 17* (24); Sarah Glenn 1/6
Result: England Women win by 18 runs (D/L Method)