Shkikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami star as India eves beat England; win ODI series
Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami's four wickets apiece and Smriti Mandhana's half century help India outclass world champions England to win ODI series in Game Two at Mumbai
The Mithali Raj-led Indian women's team outclassed world champions England, beating them by seven wickets in the second ODI at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The architects of India's triumph were pacers Shikha Pandey (4-18) and Jhulan Goswami (4-30), who helped dismiss the visitors for 161 in 43.3 overs.
In reply, opening batswoman Smriti Mandhana top-scored with 63 (7x4s, 1x6) as the hosts chased down the target in 41.1 overs. Mandhana lost her opening partner Jemimah Rodrigues (0) in the second over itself, but played a steady innings, executing her stylish cover drives and pull shots with ease.
Mumbai girl Raut rocks
Making a comeback to the national side after five months, Mumbai girl Punam Raut (32 off 65) also gave her senior partner good company at the crease before she was stumped by Sarah Taylor off a wide delivery by medium pacer Georgia Elwiss. Mandhana and Raut shared 73 runs for the third wicket. Mandhana reached her fifty in style — pulling a short one off left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone to the fence for four.
Smriti Mandhana en route her 63 against England. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Mandhana was dismissed with 22 runs needed to win, trapped leg before off a slower one by medium pacer Anya Shrubsole but not before she had stitched another crucial stand — 66 runs for the fourth wicket — with skipper Mithali Raj 47 not out (8x4).
Earlier, India pacers Pandey and Goswami had the visitors on the mat, sending back their top three batswomen with just 14 on the board, after seven overs. Had it not been for Natalie Sciver's gritty 85 (12x4, 1x6) which included a 49-run fifth wicket stand with Lauren Winfield (28), the English women might not have even crossed the 100 mark. Tamsin Beaumont (20) was the only other English batswoman to enter double figures.
England skipper Heather Knight was all praise for Pandey's ability to swing the ball across two spells. "She [Shikha] swung the ball consistently. She came back for her second spell and still swung it. She was very disciplined with the line and length," said Knight.
Pandey, 29, credited coach WV Raman for her good show. "There were a few technical issues in my bowling, which were brought to my notice by Raman sir. I was surprised that I didn't notice them earlier. He has been that assuring face in the dressing room. He is someone who you can speak to about bowling and he is there with an opinion," she said.
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