England enforces follow-on, Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma continue to fight back on Day 3

After a horrific end to Day 2 of the one-off Test between India and England that is being played at Bristol, the batting woes continued for India at the start of Day 3. Inside the first session of play, England bowled out India for 231 and enforced a follow-on. Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar showed some fight, but the hosts had the last laugh as they managed to clean India’s tail cheaply.


England Women's Cricket Test Team celebrates after taking all 10 Wickets in 1st Innings. PC:Twitter
England Women’s Cricket Test Team celebrates after taking all 10 Wickets in 1st Innings. PC:Twitter


Asked to bat again Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana walked out with determination. The duo played well against the probing lines and lengths bowled by the experienced pair of Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt. Just before the stroke of lunch, Brunt enticed Mandhana to play a drive and the southpaw fell prey to the trap as she was caught in the second slip by Natalie Sciver. A wicket before lunch what was England would have wanted. Mandhana could have easily left it alone but she decided to do otherwise, albeit a half hearted attempt.

India lost their first wicket with 29 runs on board, still trailing by 136 runs. While Punam Raut was slated to come in at number three, in came Deepti Sharma, who was unbeaten in the first innings. Probably the kind of technique and temperament that she showed in the first innings would have prompted the Indian think tank to send Sharma in at number three. The 23-year old did complete justice to the belief that was shown in her as she batted well alongside Shafali Verma, who is having a dream Test debut.

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Shafali Verma smashed 96 Runs in 1st Innings against England. PC: Twitter
Shafali Verma smashed 96 Runs in 1st Innings against England. PC: Twitter

Sharma and Verma have so far put together 54 runs and have taken India to 83-1. The visitors still trail by 82 runs. After lunch, close to 13 overs were bowled, and then there was rain interruption. The players went back to their dressing rooms and in the next half an hour they were back on field to play another six overs before the rain again stuck its head out.

So, barely there was half a day’s play on Day 3. India would have been a happier side as they would now have to play out only the last and final day of the Test, on the other hand, England would be disappointed, as their chances of winning the Test may have washed away due to the rains.  The final day now clearly has only two possibilities – a draw or an England win, provided India’s batting runs on a banana peel as it did in the first innings. Hope the weather clears out so that there is a full-day play on offer.

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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