Summary: 1st T20I – Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur leads successful run-chase with unbeaten 42 against England Women

So the build-up towards the all-important T20 world cup begins as the Tri-nation series commences between three heavyweights: Australia, England & India in Australia. With the temperatures soaring in Canberra going as high as 40 degrees Celcius, this high-intensity tournament has been off to a magnificent start with visitors India & England locking horns against each other at the Manuka Oval, Canberra.

 

Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur. Pic Credits: Getty Images

 

On a bright sunny day and a very good batting surface, India won the toss and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur had no hesitation in fielding first as the wicket would have been the same throughout the 40 overs. She did not repent this decision as the Indian bowlers did not disappoint picking up early wickets sending openers Danielle Wyatt (4 off 5) & Amy Jones (1 of 4) back in the hut which left England Skipper Heather Knight and the middle order to take England to a respectable score.

Skipper Heather Knight (67 off 44) rose to the occasion scoring her highest T20 international score and smashing her second half-century in T20Iโ€™s along with a fantastic partnership with Tammy Beaumont (37 off 27) taking England to a defendable score of 147-7 after the end of 20 overs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/19), Shikha Pandey (2/33) & Deepti Sharma (2/30) were the pick of the bowlers for India as they managed to restrict a deep English batting side under the score of 150. Pooja Vastarakar injured herself on the field and was ruled out for the rest of the game which was a huge loss to the Indian side. There were quite a few missed chances in the field which could have easily come back to haunt the Indian side but the bowlers, however, did a decent job with their line & length.

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Indian openers Smriti Mandhana (15 off 10) & 16-year-old Shafali Verma ( 30 off 25) provided a quick start to the chase as both started with boundaries and took the advantage of the field restrictions early on. Jemimah Rodrigues (26 off 20) at No.3 carried on the momentum hitting 4 glorious boundaries and matching up the run rate but threw her wicket away in the process to up the ante. Katherine Brunt (2/33) looked in great shape and came back well after being hit for 16 runs in her first over picking 2 crucial wickets and bringing England back in the game. Veda Krishnamurthy (7 off 10) & Wicketkeeper batter Taniya Bhatia (11 off 12) too fell cheaply but it was the skipper Harmapreet Kaur (42* off 34) (with 5 fours & 1 six) who took the game deep by keeping her nerve in the last over of the game and ended up hitting a six over long-off to seal the victory for the Indian side with 3 balls to spare.

India has opened its account on the points table as they secure 2 crucial points in this Tri-series and have won the last 9 out of their 10 T20 internationals. Harmanpreet in the post-match presentation thanked the crowd for the support and was quite happy with the effort put in by the girls in the game. Now world champions Australia play England tomorrow at the same venue and it is expected to be a crackerjack of a match between the arch-rivals.

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Brief Scores:

ENGW: 147-7 (20 overs) INDW: 150-5 (19.3 overs) Result: INDW won the match by 5 wickets

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