Saturday, December 2, 2023

Sensational Sciver powers England to 18-run convert India in rain-hit T20

Sciver’s sensational fifty was England’s joint fastest within the format
England all-rounder Nat Sciver smashed a record-equalling half century before the bowlers put the struggling Indian batters struggling to make sure an 18 run-win for the hosts via DLS method within the rain-curtailed first T20I against here.

Put in to bat, England rode on Sciver’s 27-ball 55, that included eight fours and successful over the fence, and wicketkeeper Amy Jones’ 43 off 27 balls to succeed in 177 for seven in 20 overs.

Sciver’s sensational fifty was England’s joint fastest within the format.

In reply, India did not continue with the specified run-rate despite vice-captain Smriti Mandhana’s quickfire 29 off 17 balls before rain gods had the victory with the visitors at 54 for 3 in 8.4 overs, 18 runs behind England via the DLS method.

England now lead the three-match series 1-0 and 8-4 within the multi-format points system having lifted the ODI trophy.

Chasing 178, India was off to the worst possible start as pacer Katherine Brunt bamboozled the big-hitting Shafali Verma for a duck, leaving India nought for one.

However, Mandhana and Harleen Deol (17 not out) got the tourists back on target after the initial upset.

With rain on the cards, the duo quickly stitched a 44-run partnership with Mandhana hitting six boundaries, including successive fours off Brunt within the third over of the chase, while Harleen played second fiddle.

But Sciver struck soon, getting obviate the damaging Mandhana within the sixth over.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s (1) prolonged lean patch continued because the senior batter became all-rounder Sarah Glenn’s first victim within the very next over.

The loss of the skipper’s wicket in quick succession cost the Indians dear, ensuring that they were well behind within the DLS method.

Earlier, veteran pacer Shikha Pandey (3/22) snared three wickets while spinners Poonam Yadav (1/32) and Radha Yadav (1/33) took a scalp each in what was a standard bowling effort.

Openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt gave England a solid start, collecting 48 runs within the powerplay.

Radha broke the opening substitute the eighth over as wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, playing her first match of the series, caught Wyatt attempting a reverse sweep. Initially given not out, the Indians went for the review which showed an enormous spike on the UltraEdge.

After skipper Heather Knight’s departure, Sciver and Jones kept the instant going. The duo strung a 78-run stand.

Harmanpreet and Harleen achieved splendid catches within the penultimate over as Shikha struck thrice, getting obviate Sciver, Jones and Sophia Dunkley (1).

While skipper Harmanpreet, fielding at long on, put an end to Sciver’s brilliant innings by diving to pouch the ball inches over the bottom .

Two balls later, Harleen put an end to Jones’ innings, as she jumped to require an outstanding reverse-cupped catch at the boundary above her head before losing her balance.

She threw the ball within the air as she stepped out of the boundary rope only to leap back in, diving forward to finish the catch.

Skipper Harmanpreet said the team’s fielding has improved considerably under the guidance of coach Abhay Sharma but the bowling could are better.

“We knew there’d be rain after 8:30 PM. We couldn’t make it thanks to back-to-back wickets. We fielded rather well , there is a lot of improvement in our fielding. “Shikha did rather well within the bowling department. we’d like to consider the boundaries we’re are giving in between overs. If we will work thereon , we will stop any team. Every game is vital for us, today was unfortunate due to rain,” she said at the post match presentation.

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