June 2, 2023
Sophie Ecclestone's strikes lead England's victory push


The spinner took out half-centurions Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma

Lunch India 171 for 3 (Verma 63, Sharma 54) and 231 (Verma 96, Mandhana 78, Ecclestone 4-88, Knight 2-7) lead England 396 for 9 dec. (Knight 95, Dunkley 74*, Beaumont 66, Rana 4-131, Sharma 3-65) by six runs

Within seconds of Katherine Brunt taking a screamer to take away India’s biggest menace, the financial institution of spectators – barely 200 of them – turned to the large display screen immediately behind them to see it once more. When the imaginative and prescient switched to a graphic on the essential second, their collective groan appeared like they had been many extra in quantity.
Just just like the few hundred others who had bothered to attend every of the earlier three days, they’d witnessed one thing actually spectacular, not least the breath-taking expertise of Shafali Verma, the 17-year-old opener whom Brunt had simply dismissed and who had scored twin half-centuries on Test debut.
Sophie Ecclestone had entered the assault as quickly as Kate Cross had accomplished her over which was halted by rain on the third day. Ecclestone, the left-arm spinner ranked the world’s No. 1 bowler in T20Is, was pummelled again over her head for six by Verma, the main T20I batter who moved to 63 with the utmost.

But 5 balls later, with out including to her rating, Verma’s eyes lit up at an Ecclestone full-toss and he or she lifted it down the bottom as Brunt, operating to her left from long-on needed to launch herself forwards in a dive to fulfill it and clung onto the catch. Leaping again to her toes, Brunt pivoted in the direction of the stands with each fists clenched and roared with delight.

India’s spectacular first-innings collapse wherein they’d misplaced seven wickets for 20 runs in 14.2 overs and wherein Deepti Sharma was the one middle-order batter to move 4 together with her unbeaten 29, rammed residence the significance of Verma’s wicket. She had, in spite of everything, posted a first-innings rating of 96 in a 167-run partnership with Smriti Mandhana.

But with Verma gone, Sharma and Punam Raut dug in to information India to 171 for 3, as Sharma fell on the final ball earlier than lunch, with a lead of six runs.

Until Sharma fell, with England struggling to make inroads, the match seemed headed for a draw that might belie the numerous fascinating storylines of the match. Ecclestone then struck for the second time within the morning session and, offered England might get again on a roll, the prospect of a end result loomed again into sight.

Sharma, one other debutant who had displayed her stubbornness in going through 44 deliveries for a single run earlier in her innings, reached a 157-ball fifty with a pull off Nat Sciver to deep backward sq.. But her resistance ended when she inexplicably tried to slog-sweep a full Ecclestone supply and bottom-edged onto her stumps, gone for 54 and leaving Raut unbeaten on 39 on the break.

Raut had an lbw determination overturned when she was on 17, replays exhibiting that she had edged Brunt onto her pad.

Valkerie Baynes is a basic editor at ESPNcricinfo

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