Cricket

Beaumont, bowlers star in England's convincing win in first T20I


ENGLAND WOMEN IN INDIA, 2019

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Tammy Beaumont’s mature half-century set up England’s convincing win © AFP

It’s not a good day when your fast bowler scores the most number of runs. Disconcerted and unremarkable, India looked exactly like a team playing without their regular captain. Stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana’s captaincy audition got off to a horror start in the absence of incumbent Harmanpreet Kaur, with India capitulating to a 41-run loss in the opening Twenty20 International against England in Guwahati on Monday (March 5).

India’s batting, once reeling at 46 for 5 at the halfway mark, begs for attention and analysis in a losing cause but it was England’s batting that forced the mistakes on a pretty placid track. Led by Tammy Beaumont’s mature half-century and Heather Knight’s 20-ball 40, England set India a very good target of 161 runs.

Sent in to bat by Mandhana, Danielle Wyatt and Beaumont put on 89 runs for the first wicket, leaving India out of wits against a partnership burgeoning by the minute. Shikha Pandey was superb with the new ball, conceding just four runs in her two overs, but Deepti Sharma at the other end conceded 17 runs in two overs, getting England off the rails with three boundaries in her second over.

Such was the flow of runs that Pandey had to be brought back around the halfway mark, and she hit back with Wyatt’s wicket in her last over, it being the 12th over of the innings. Radha Yadav’s strike of Natalie Sciver an over later was India’s chance for a comeback, and it looked like that with a few quiet overs until Knight carted the bowlers all around the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, hitting seven fours in total, five of which came in one Arundhati Reddy over.

A 59-run stand for the third wicket came in only 5.5 overs, setting India a challenge that proved far beyond the hosts. There was no Harmanpreet, so the onus was on Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues to get India through, with Mithali Raj, included in this match, playing the second-fiddle cum controller of the innings from the other end.

But it was a very nervous start from the hosts, who lost Harleen Deol, Mandhana and Rodrigues in a space of eight balls – Mandhana and Rodrigues falling off consecutive deliveries in Linsey Smith’s over – losing steam in a stiff chase very early on.

Raj and Veda Krishnamurthy’s consolidation, which frustratingly saw just the one boundary hit off the next 30 balls, led to nothing when both of them fell in consecutive overs: Raj perished to Kate Cross, slicing the ball to cover, and Veda to Anya Shrubsole, failing to clear mid off. Which should tell you that there was intent but India perhaps lacked the capability.

Reddy and Deepti Sharma put on 30 runs for the sixth wicket, getting them off 29 balls, and Pandey added a few quick runs towards the end but the effort was more damage control than anything else.

Brief scores: England Women 160/4 in 20 overs (Beaumont 62, Knight 40; Radha Yadav 2-33) beat India Women 119/6 in 20 overs (Shikha Pandey 23*, Deepti Sharma 22*; Linsey Smith 2-22) by 41 runs.

© Cricbuzz

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