Smriti, Seamers Steamroll World Champs as India Clinch ODI Series

Victory over England sees India retain second spot in the ICC Women’s Championship standings for the 2021 World Cup.

3 min read
Hindi Female
  • India clinch three-match series against England with a 7-wicket win in the second ODI at Mumbai.
  • Series win over world champions helps India remain second in the ICC Women’s Championship standings for the 2021 World Cup.
  • England Women: 161 all out (Nat Sciver 85, Shikha Pandey 4/18, Jhulan Goswami 4/30).
  • India Women: 162/3 in 41.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 63, Mithali Raj 47*, Anya Shrubsole 2/23).

The Indian women’s cricket team clinched its three-match ODI series against world champions England by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with a comprehensive win at Mumbai on Monday, 25 February.

Smriti Mandhana continued her sterling run of form with another half-century to help complete a seven-wicket win, set up by pacers Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey.

Goswami and Pandey took four wickets each as the visitors were bowled out for just 161 – a total India overhauled with nearly nine overs to spare.

India had earlier won the opening game, also at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, on Friday, 22 February, by 66 runs.


Probing Pacers Set Up Series Win

It’s rare for an Indian win in women’s ODIs to be set up by the fast bowlers – even more so when playing at home. The 66-run win in the series-opener, too, had the spinners doing the bulk of the damage (Ekta Bisht took four wickets, Deepti Sharma two).

But on Monday, the wreckers-in-chief were the two pacers.

Goswami and Pandey bowled 12 of the first 14 overs after England elected to bat – possibly worried by their second-innings capitulation at the hands of the Indian spinners on Friday – at the end of which the scorecard read a troubling 44/4.

36-year-old Goswami dismissed the pivotal Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight in quick succession after Pandey had removed Amy Jones in her first over, and the younger pacer ended an unchanged spell of seven overs with the breakthrough of the second opener, Tammy Beaumont.

The duo would return in a later burst to clean up the English lower-middle order.

The eight wickets shared by Goswami and Pandey make this the most wickets taken by India’s pacers in any women’s ODI.
Victory over England sees India retain second spot in the ICC Women’s Championship standings for the 2021 World Cup.
Shikha Pandey crippled the English batting lineup with career-best figures of 4/18.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/BCCI Women)

It took a stoic, solo effort from Nat Sciver to provide some respectability to leave England with something to bowl at; Sciver’s 109-ball 85 amounted to nearly 60 percent of the runs made off the bat in the first innings.

She shared a 42-run stand for the last wicket with Alex Hartley – to which the number 11 contributed no runs.


Unstoppable Smriti

No shade of purple does adequate justice to the patch of form India’s opener has struck. Having had a rare ‘off’ day on Friday, when she fell for 24, Mandhana returned to her usual mode of operation in the low run-chase.

The 22-year-old batted with a comfort missing from any of the other batters on the day; the boundaries flew off her left-handed blade – seven fours and a six in her 74-ball 63 – and she was the only batter to have a strike rate above 80.

Mandhana has now amassed 952 runs in 17 ODIs since the start of 2018, at a stellar average of 68; in only six of these 17 innings has she failed to cross 50.

Mandhana’s 19th score of 50 or more in ODIs saw her level former captain Anjum Chopra. Only present skipper Mithali Raj, with 59, has more 50+ scores for India.

Raj was at hand to finish the job for her side. Having come in at the fall of Punam Raut’s wicket for 32, the 36-year-old compiled a patient unbeaten 47 off 69 balls, laced with eight boundaries, to take India over the line.

The third and final ODI will be held on Thursday, 28 February, after which the teams move to Guwahati for a three-match T20I series.

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