Women's T20 World Cup: Sluggish India stumble to 11-run loss vs England | Crickit
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Women's T20 World Cup: Sluggish India stumble to 11-run loss vs England

Feb 18, 2023 11:00 PM IST

English spinners choke India in the middle overs to defend the 151-run target despite Richa Ghosh's late assault in the crucial ICC Women’s T20 World Cup fixture in South Africa

Pacer Renuka Singh's maiden five-wicket haul, Smriti Mandhana's sublime fifty and Richa Ghosh’s late surge went in vain as England maintained their dominance over India, beating the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side by 11 runs in their Group 2 match in Gqeberha on Saturday.

England's Nat Sciver Brunt plays a shot during ICC Womens T20 World Cup 2023 group B match against Indian Women, at St George's Park, in Gqeberha on Saturday. (ICC Twitter)
England's Nat Sciver Brunt plays a shot during ICC Womens T20 World Cup 2023 group B match against Indian Women, at St George's Park, in Gqeberha on Saturday. (ICC Twitter)

The margin of defeat could have been much worse for India but for Ghosh's unbeaten 34-ball 47 — her highest T20I score. Her late acceleration briefly raised hopes of an unlikely win. Coming in to bat in the 11th over at the fall of Harmanpreet, Ghosh added 43 runs in 34 balls with opener Mandhana but it was the run-a-ball 14-run stand with Deepti Sharma that snuffed out the momentum from the pursuit of England's challenging 151/7.

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The English bowlers, particularly leg spinner Sarah Glenn, applied the choke to perfection as the asking rate soon galloped to double digits. The 23-year-old accounted for two of India's top-three — Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues — and together with left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone paved the way for England’s sixth consecutive win over India in T20 World Cups.

India will take heart from Mandhana's return to form ahead of the knockouts. The left-handed opener last scored a T20I 50 six innings back. In the intervening period, she had four single-digit scores, a finger injury that kept her out of India's opening game win against Pakistan, and a subdued return versus West Indies. On Saturday though, the 26-year-old was at her silken best, using her wrists and assured footwork to play some delightful inside-out drives and pulls.

Earlier, Kaur's decision to bowl under overcast conditions was vindicated in style by Renuka, who produced the maiden five-wicket haul of her international career. The 27-year-old medium-pacer found her length early and swung the ball both ways to reduce England to 37/3 in the powerplay. Kaur gave her an initial burst of three overs, and Renuka took a wicket in each over.

She struck on the third ball of the day, sending back Danni Wyatt with the one that moved off the seam after shaping in. Next, she got Alice Capsey with a pitched-up delivery that the batter wanted to hit across the line but was bowled. In her next over, Renuka castled Sophia Dunkley, who missed her slog and had the leg stump uprooted.

She then returned in the 20th over, sending back Amy Jones (40 off 27 balls) and Katherine Sciver-Brunt off successive balls to complete her five-for, but the effort would eventually fall short. England's Nat Sciver-Brunt was adjudged Player-of-the-Match for her 42-ball 50.

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