Twitter Reactions: Shafali Verma's half-century keeps India in the fray on a rain-marred day

Twitter Reactions: Shafali Verma’s half-century keeps India in the fray on a rain-marred day

There was no play possible after Tea due to rain, with a following-on India still 82 behind England's first-innings tally of 396.

Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shafali Verma continued to impress on a rain-marred third day in Bristol in the one-off affair, becoming the first Indian woman to notch up two half-centuries on Test debut, after England wrapped the visitors in a rush, exploiting the overcast conditions early morning.

A significant part of the day was wasted thanks to the England weather, with no play possible due to rain in the final session after the two teams had taken Tea early. This after India were asked to follow on – having undergone a collapse on the previous day when they lost 5/16, Sophie Ecclestone grabbed the Indian lower-order by the neck, ensuring that the slide continued as they lost the remaining five for 44.

The wrecker-in-chief struck on the first ball of her third-day spell, trapping Harmanpreet Kaur lbw, who was ruled not out by the on-field umpire, only for technology to change that decision as England successfully reviewed. Ecclestone returned soon to get Taniya Bhatia in a similar fashion, who reviewed the lbw shout to no avail, while she had her third for the morning with Sneh Rana edging one behind to Amy Jones.

Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar’s 33-run stand did, for once, raised hopes in the Indian camp to cross the follow-on mark, but an absolute jaffa from Katherine Brunt with the new ball led to the latter’s end. Brunt pitched the ball on the leg-stump line, which then shaped away and kissed the top of off on its way to the keeper. An inswinging delivery from Anya Shrubsole knocked over Jhulan Goswami with India still 165 behind England’s tally.

Shafali Verma keeps India in the hunt 

For the second time in the game, Verma looked the best batter in the Indian unit as she made a rollicking start alongside Smriti Mandhana after England enforced the follow-on. She raced off to 20 with all of her runs coming in boundaries, while Mandhana, too, looked in the mood to emulate her first-innings show. However, Brunt ruined that chance by luring her into a drive that took an edge and landed in the slips at the stroke of Lunch.

The resumption was delayed due to a slight drizzle as the groundstaff sorted things out. Once resumed, Verma continued to dash, picking a couple of fours off Shrubsole before meting out similar treatment to Kate Cross. At the other end, Deepti Sharma looked completely content playing the second fiddle to her partner, blocking it out patiently as she stood on a solitary run off 43 deliveries when the skies opened up again.

Upon resumption, Sharma played her shorts as she got into double-figures, while her 17-year-old partner soon nudged a single to bring up her second fifty in the game, barely looking as if she stopped after ending up with 96 in the first innings. The resumption proved to be a short one as a drizzle arrived again with India at 83/1, still, 82 behind England. The umpires had to call it a day with the clock ticking past the official end time without any improvement in the weather.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: