INDW vs ENGW, 1st ODI, Review: Smriti Mandhana and Poonam help India clinch thriller

INDW vs ENGW, 1st ODI, Review: Smriti Mandhana and Poonam help India clinch thriller

England tried their best but the last wicket pair of Bisht and Poonam defied them the victory.

Indian Women's team
Indian Women’s team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India Women have defeated England Women by just 1 wicket in a nerve-wrenching thriller in the first of the three-match ODI series. It was the last wicket pair of Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht who added 18 runs at the end after India had collapsed from a comfortable position. However, it was the knock from Smriti Mandhana which made the chase easy after the Indian spinners had strangled the visitors in the first innings.

England skipper Anya Shrubsole won the toss and opted to bat as they continued to miss their regular skipper Heather Knight who was injured during the T20I tri-series. India Women, on the other hand, picked Devika Vaidya in the team at the expense of young Jemimah Rodrigues for the first game of the three-match series. The openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont gave the team a blazing start as the visitors raced to 70/0 in first 10 overs.

Spinners take control

However, soon after the end of the powerplay, the leg-spinner Poonam Yadav took the ball in her hands and changed the complexion of the game completely. She scalped both the openers and sent back Amy Ellen Jones as soon as she came into the attack and reduced them to 86/3. Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner, from the other end, added to the agony of England batters as she picked the crucial wickets of the dangerous Natalie Sciver and Georgia Elwiss.

Even Deepti Sharma was amongst the wickets as England collapsed to 141/7 in the 36th over. However, it was the 40-run partnership between  Fran Wilson and Danielle Hazell which helped England little bit. While the former scored 45, Hazell played a crucial hand of 33 which propelled them to a fighting total of 207 as they were bundled out in the final over of the innings. Poonam was the pick of the bowlers for the home side as she returned with the magical figures of 4/30 even as Bisht and Deepti supported her well.

Thrilling chase

India needed one of the top order batters to stay until the end to gun down the middling total and it was Smriti Mandhana again who put her hand up for the job. She lost her opening partner Vaidya in the 7th over after which Mithali Raj bagged an 8-ball duck as both the wickets were taken by Hazell. But Harmanpreet Kaur assisted Mandhana well as the duo added 50 runs for the third wicket stand. However, Kaur was sent back into the hut by the left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone in the 22nd over.

Though it seemed that the game was done and dusted when Deepti Sharma and Mandhana stitched a match-defining partnership of 74 runs in less than 14 overs. Meanwhile, Mandhana’s knock of 86 off 109 deliveries with 5 fours and 4 sixes had all but won India the game. But the wicket of the former triggered the not so famous collapse for India to bring back the heart-breaking memories of the final at Lords which had cost them the World Cup. The Girls in Blue collapsed from being 166/3 to 190/9 courtesy some exceptional spin bowling from Ecclestone.

The last pair of Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht held their nerve for their country and pulled off a sensational victory for India in the final over. They hit a boundary each when it was most needed and helped the home side take the lead in the three-match series. Ecclestone was the best bowler for the visitors with the figures of 4/37 as Elwiss assisted hr nicely by picking 2/14 but it was not enough at the end of the day for them to win the game.

Brief Scores

England Women 207 after 49.3 overs (F Wilson 45, T Beaumont 37; P Yadav 4/30, E Bisht 3/49, D Sharma 2/25)

India Women 208/9 after 49.1 overs (S Mandhana 86; S Ecclestone 4/37, G Elwiss 2/14)

Result: India won the match by 1 wicket.

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