Twitter Reactions: Harmanpreet Kaur and Renuka Thakur sizzle as India complete historic series win in England

Harmanpreet Kaur's unbeaten 143*(111) and Renuka Singh Thakur's four-wicket haul led India to a win.

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Indian Womens (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)
Vaishnavi Iyer
VAISHNAVI IYER

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The second ODI at Canterbury turned out to be an unforgettable event as the Women in Blue went on to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series against host England by bagging an 88-run victory. They were in the game with an aim to give a memorable farewell to veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, and the team did succeed at it by winning what was her swansong in international cricket.

Winning the toss, England put India to bat first. The Women in Blue did not have the ideal start as opening batter Shafali Verma, just like the previous game, was dismissed for a low score in the second over of the innings by senior pacer Kate Cross. Top-order batter Yastika Bhatia had been in good touch, and so was Smriti Mandhana as the duo added 54 runs for the second wicket and sailed past the powerplay.

Bhatia walked off scoring a 34-ball 26 as her wicket brought skipper Harmanpreet Kaur into the game. She took her time to get going in the game, and in the meantime, Sophie Ecclestone picked up her first wicket of the innings in the form of Mandhana as India lost their third wicket before crossing 100 runs on the scoreboard.

Just when England started celebrating the breakthrough, Harleen Deol walked in and played a fiery knock and her partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur helped the Indian side put up the innings together. Coming into the game after Kaur, Deol managed to score a half-century before the skipper and carried the game brilliantly.

The duo took the game from 99/3 to 212/4 by sharing a whopping 113 runs partnership for the fourth wicket before Deol lost her wicket while aiming for a boundary. But thereon, it was a complete Harmanpreet Kaur show. After bagging a slow half-century, she went on to smack a brilliant run-a-ball century.

She went berserk after touching the three-figure mark and added 43 runs off the next 11 deliveries that she faced, thereby ending India’s innings at a mammoth total of 333/4. Kaur was well assisted by all-rounders Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma, but the skipper added a major chunk of runs towards the end and finished her outing scoring an unbeaten 143*(111), studded with 18 fours and four sixes.

England’s start to the chase was not ideal, and nothing turned out to be as per their plans. Opener Tammy Beaumont started with a boundary, but could not keep her place for a long time as Harmanpreet Kaur’s direct throw onto the stumps resulted in her runout. Sophia Dunkley walked in early intending to anchor the innings, but Renuka Singh stormed through the stumps and dismissed her as soon as she entered.

England batters go from high to low, end up losing series at home

Opener Emma Lamb struggled to get going, and Renuka Singh put an end to her time on the field and picked up her second wicket. Within just eight overs, India managed to take down England’s top order. The middle-order batters gave their team the required momentum as Alice Capsey and Danni Wyatt added 55 runs for the fourth wicket before the former walked off.

Wyatt looked unstoppable as she formed a partnership with skipper Amy Jones, and the two kept the game going even after losing the crucial wicket of Capsey. They did not let that affect their momentum and kept piling up runs to make the game even more intriguing. Indian bowlers struggled to get that much-needed breakthrough, but when they did, it changed the face of the game.

Renuka Thakur struck for the third time and claimed the priced wicket of the in-form Wyatt to put an end to the 65-run stand. In the very next over, Kaur introduced Dayalan Hemalatha into the attack, and the trick worked in India’s favor as she scalped Jones’ wicket, thereby putting brakes on England’s momentum.

A confident Thakur came back into the attack and added the fourth wicket under her bag by dismissing all-rounder Ecclestone. England’s batting order came crashing down when the bowlers stormed through the lineup, and the Indian fielders were also at their best, as they helped their side in a couple of successful runouts.

The lower-order batters could not do much as the pressure was high because the target was big, and there were very few wickets in hand. Adding another feather to her cap, Shafali Verma bagged her maiden ODI wicket, which added to England’s misery. After an all-round show, India won the game by 88 runs, and won an ODI series in England for the first time since 1999, and just the second time in history.