Reason why England enforced follow-on on India Women despite leading by less than 200 runs

Reason why England enforced follow-on on India Women despite leading by less than 200 runs

India have been bundled out for 231 runs in their first innings.

England Women
England Women. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Even though all the excitement was surrounding the World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand, the Women’s team had a game on their hands in Bristol. Having lost a flurry of wickets at the fag end of Day 2, India resumed at 187/5 only to lose their last five wickets in the first session itself. They were bowled out for 231 runs in their first innings conceding a lead of 165 runs.

And to make things worse, England enforced the follow-on on them which left many viewers surprised. Generally, the notion is that a team can enforce the follow-on on the opposition team only after having a lead of 200 runs or more in a Test match. However, not many are aware that the number changes according to the days of play.

Women’s Test are of four days with 100 overs to be bowled on each day. According to the MCC Laws 14.1, for a Test match of three or four days, the follow-on can be enforced if a team has a lead of 150 or more. The number comes down to 100 and 75 for a two and one-day Test which is rarely the case.

“In a two-innings match of 5 days or more, the side which bats first and leads by at least 200 runs shall have the option of requiring the other side to follow their innings. The same option shall be available in two-innings matches of shorter duration with the minimum leads as follows: 150 runs in a match of 3 or 4 days; 100 runs in a 2-day match; 75 runs in a 1-day match,” the law states.

Accordingly, India had to go past 246 runs in their first innings to avoid the follow-on. But they didn’t and hence were invited by England to bat again in the second innings.

India collapse after being 167/0

Earlier, England declared their innings at 396/9 with an aim to eke out a result. However, their plans were put to rest by the Indian openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma. The duo took their time early on and played some sumptuous shots. Both of them got to their respective half-centuries and just when Shafali was on the verge of scoring a ton, she got out on 96.

Soon Mandhana followed her on 78 and that triggered a sensational collapse. India collapsed from being 167/0 to 231 all-out and ended up losing Smriti again in the second innings.