Half centuries from Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danni Wyatt helped England beat India by 38 runs at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Put into bat first, England rode on Sciver-Brunt and Wyatt’s 138-run partnership off just 87 balls to post 197/6 in their 20 overs. In reply, India scored 159/6 in their 20 overs to succumb to a 38-run loss.
India got off to a perfect start as pacer Renuka Singh Thakur got rid of Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey off consecutive balls in the first over to reduce England to 2/2.
Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt weathered the early storm as they began rebuilding the England innings. The pair took England from 2/2 to 140/3 in 14 overs and scored at least a boundary in all but one over.
Wyatt hit eight fours and two sixes in her innings of 75 off 47 balls while Sciver-Brunt smashed 13 fours to score 77 runs off 53 balls. However, the match could have turned out differently had India held on to two catches before the pair had reached their half centuries.
Batting at 45, Sciver-Brunt hit a ball straight back at Shreyanka Patil but the debutant dropped the low catch. Two balls later, Wyatt brought up her fifty with a huge six and should have been out the next ball only for Pooja Vastrakar to drop a sitter at long on.
The two dropped chances ended up hurting India as Wyatt and Sciver-Brunt went on to add 54 more runs combined after their respective reprieves. Wyatt’s innings finally came to an end after she misread the length off a Saika Ishaque delivery to give Richa Ghosh an easy stumping.
Patil would also get her first India wicket by dismissing captain Heather Knight for just six. Sciver-Brunt’s stay ended an over later after being caught behind off Thakur’s delivery.
Wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones hit three fours and a six in her 13 ball stay as her quick-fire 23 helped England post their second-highest T20I score against India.
India got off to a decent start in their chase as Shafali Verma struck two fours in the first over. However, England struck in the third over with Sciver-Brunt getting rid of Smriti Mandhana with the second ball of her spell. A couple of overs later, Freya Kemp struck with her first ball to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues for just four runs.
Verma, however, kept India in the hunt as she took on the England bowlers. She hit three boundaries off a Sciver-Brunt over and found able support from captain Harmanpreet Kaur who hits Kemp for 16 runs in an over.
However, Kaur’s innings came to an end in the 11th over after she inside-edged a Sophie Ecclestone ball onto the stumps. Richa Ghosh joined Verma in the middle as the two U-19 T20 World Cup winning players looked to rebuild India’s chase.
Despite getting a decent start, Ghosh could not convert her 16-ball 21 as she holed out to Alice Capsey at long on off Sarah Glenn’s final over.
India held on to hope as Verma brought up her half-century. That hope, however, was soon extinguished as she tried to whack Ecclestone only to bottom edge a simple catch at backward point. That was the nail in India’s coffin as England wrapped up a comfortable 38-run win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The second T20I will take place on December 9 with the final match to take place a day later.