Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt, and Ecclestone power England to a 38-win over India

A clinical England beat a rusty India by 38 runs in the first of the three T20Is played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Winning the toss and electing to bowl, India invited England to bat first on a belter of a wicket. The visitors did not get off to the best of starts as they lost two wickets in the first over of the match. Renuka Singh Thakur, India’s pace ace, true to her jersey number, was a perfect ‘10’ generating good swing from the otherwise batting friendly pitch to clean bowled Sophia Dunkley (1) and Alice Capsey (0).

Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt, and Ecclestone power England to a 38-win over India. PC: Getty
Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt, and Ecclestone power England to a 38-win over India. PC: Getty

However, that was just a couple of drops of blood that India could draw in the 15 overs. England’s star all-rounder Natalie Sciver-Brunt joined forces with Danielle Wyatt to steady England’s sinking ship as they stitched a delectable 138-run partnership for the third wicket. They punished the loose deliveries and ran hard between the wickets. Though they had two instances of “short run” in their partnership, they otherwise managed to put a lot of pressure on the Indian fielders. Wyatt (75) and Sciver-Brunt (77) were given one life each as they were dropped by Pooja Vastrakar at long on and Shreyanka Patil of her own bowling respectively in the 12th over when they were on 52 and 45. Once the duo departed, there was no respite for the hosts as England’s wicket-keeper-batter Amy Jones played an entertaining 9-ball 23 cameo to take her team to 197/6 in 20 overs. For India, Thakur and debutant Shreyanka Patil were impressive with the ball, snapping three and two scalps respectively.

Chasing a daunting target of 198, India did not start well as they lost Smriti Mandhana (6) and Jemimah Rodrigues (4) cheaply inside the powerplay. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who walked out to bat next, combined with Shafali Verma to build a 41-run partnership, before being dismissed by world number 1 T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone. Later, Verma was a part of another 41-run stand with Richa Ghosh, who perished trying to up the ante. With 76 to get off 32 and six wickets in hand, India’s hopes were hanging by a thread. The wicket of Verma in the 17th over was virtually the final nail in the coffin as the remainder of the batting order could not do much. For England, Ecclestone was the star performer with the ball with 15/3.

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The visitors were exceptional on the field as they held onto their catches and bowled disciplined lines and lengths. With their outstanding performance, England managed to silence the crowd, as their captain Heather Knight explicitly stated in her press conference yesterday.

Natalie Sciver-Brunt won the player of the match award for her brilliant all-round performance including 77 with the bat and 35/1 in four overs with the ball.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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