2nd ODI: Sophia Dunkley and Katherine Brunt power England to a 5-Wicket Win over India at Taunton

Despite making three changes to their playing XI, India could only manage to add 20 more runs and pick up three additional wickets compared to the first ODI, which they lost. The three changes also had no significant effect on the result in the second ODI as India was defeated again. Punam Raut was replaced by Jemimah Rodrigues, Pooja Vastrakar made way for Sneh Rana, and Ekta Bisht lost her place to Poonam Yadav.

 

Katherine Brunt in action during 2nd ODI against India. PC: Twitter
Katherine Brunt in action during 2nd ODI against India. PC: Twitter

 

After the five-wicket loss in the second ODI at Taunton on Wednesday, it is quite clear that the woes for the Indian team have increased as they are still not able to get that top 11 players to take the field, unlike England, who sported the same 11 in both the matches.

Here’s a quick comparison of the performance of players who played in the 1st ODI and the ones who played in the 2nd ODI. 

 

Changes Runs scored Wickets taken
1.      Punam Raut 32
1.      Jemimah Rodrigues 8
2.      Pooja Vastrakar 15
2.      Sneh Rana 5 1
3.      Ekta Bisht DNB 1
3.      Poonam Yadav 10 2

 

Winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the hosts restricted the visitors to a below-par score of 221 at that venue. The opening pair of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana got off to a flying start as they stitched together 56 runs in 11.5 overs before Mandhana played one on to the stumps in an attempt to cut the ball, to give Kate Cross her first of the five wickets.

Rodrigues who came in next opened her account with a boundary but her stay was short-lived as she fell to Cross getting a leading edge which ended in the safe hands of Katherine Brunt at mid-on, who sprinted to her left to complete the catch.

Mithali Raj made her way to the centre and it was expected that Verma, who was looking in sublime touch would partner with her skipper to take India to a big score, but Sophie Ecclestone had some other plans. The left-arm spinner induced Verma to step out and the 17year old fell prey to the trap and was stumped by Amy Jones, falling six runs short of a maiden ODI half-century.

From 56 for no loss at one stage, India was struggling at 77-3 and the team wanted their two senior-most batters to bail them out. Vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined forces with Raj and the two put together 65 runs for the fourth wicket. The otherwise dashing Kaur was clearly struggling to get her timing right as she crawled her way to 19 runs off 39 balls. Trying to break the shackles, she tried to loft one but could only get a leading edge which ended in the hands of the bowler Cross.

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Kate Cross completes Fifer in 2nd ODI against India. PC: Twitter
Kate Cross completes Fifer in 2nd ODI against India. PC: Twitter

 

Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia, and Shikha Pandey fell in quick succession failing to get to a double-digit score. Raj held on to end and in the process reached her 57th ODI half-century, to become the number one Indian to score 50 or more runs 14 times in England. She went past Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli who have achieved this feat 13 times.

Towards the fag end of the innings, when Raj, who was batting with Jhulan Goswami tried to sneak in the third run, she fell short of her crease. After the run out, Poonam Yadav walked out to the middle and alongwith Goswami showed some fight as they came together to compile 29 runs for the last wicket guiding India to a respectable score of 221.

Right arm seamer Cross was the pick of the bowlers for England as she scalped her second five-wicket haul in ODI cricket. Sophie Ecclestone (3) and Natalie Sciver (1) were the other two bowlers among wickets.

Defending 221 was always going to be difficult but India who was led by Harmanpreet Kaur, in the absence of Raj, who was catering to her shoulder pain, got off to a good start as Goswami castled the in-form opener Tammy Beaumont on the last ball of the fifth over.

England captain Heather Knight also departed after scoring 10 as she tried to hook one-off leggie, Poonam Yadav. With two quick wickets, India were back in the game. The other opener Lauren Winfield Hill was looking good as she remained unscathed by the wickets falling around her. She hit the first six of the match and her innings of 42 was embellished with four boundaries as well.

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Kaur made an intelligent bowling change as she brought back Pandey again in the 19th over, who bowled a fine leg-cutter to send the dangerous Winfield-Hill back to the hut. In the same over, the stand-in skipper dived full length at mid-off and for a moment it felt as if she had plucked a blinder. Subsequently, the replays were not conclusive and the benefit of the doubt went to Natalie Sciver. After that Sciver departed shortly as the off-spinner Sneh Rana managed to get an outside edge of her bat. Taniya Bhatia, who had a wonderful outing behind the stumps did the rest.

 

Katherine Brunt and Sophia Dunkley stitched 100+ Run Partnership for 6th Wicket. PC: Twitter
Katherine Brunt and Sophia Dunkley stitched 100+ Run Partnership for 6th Wicket. PC: Twitter

 

With 92-4 in 21.5 overs, it was even-steven. But Amy Jones, Sophia Dunkley, and Katherine Brunt ensured that the game did not slip away from their hands as they chased down the target in 47.3 overs, winning the match by five wickets. Dunkley, who had a wonderful Test debut a couple of weeks back showed her class in the limited-overs format as she mustered her maiden ODI half-century. Jones also played a useful hand as she scored 28 to put together 41 runs for the fifth wicket. Brunt also chipped in with an unbeaten 33 and finished the game in style as she hit Deepti Sharma for a boundary to clinch the series for her team.

Brief Scores: India 221 all out in 50 overs (M Raj 59; K Cross 5-34, S Ecclestone 3-33) lost to England 225-5 in 47.3 overs (S Dunkley 73 not out; P Yadav 2-63) by five wickets.

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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