STUMPS: India 187/5 after 60 overs: India’s fall of wickets do not make for great reading.

1-167, (Shafali Verma, 48.5)
2-179, (Smriti Mandhana, 54.3)
3-179, (Shikha Pandey, 55.6)
4-183, (Mithali Raj, 57.2)
5-183, (Punam Raut, 58.2)   

Zenia D’Cunha: India were 167 for no loss with Shafali Verma nearing a century on Test debut & Smriti Mandhana looking sublime India end the day on 187/5 after one bad hour with two new bats on crease. Test cricket, right?

STUMPS, India 187/5: A nervy finish for Harmanpreet Kaur (or made to appear nervy by an enthusiastic crowd). It was not fun to see YET another Indian batting collapse, but what a session of Test cricket. The energy in the middle for the last half hour or so from England was something else. Two terrific days of action.

GOOD REVIEW: Harmanpreet Kaur is given out in the last over! But Ecclestone and Co’s celebrations are cut short. There is an inside edge. What a session this has been! Absolute thrill-a-minute stuff.

Deepti Sharma tries to delay the proceedings but she cannot stop a final over from happening. What an atmosphere in the middle.

WICKET! PUNAM RAUT GONE! She lets one go that pitched on line, Heather Knight has another. A bit of a brain fade that with the offspinner bowling over the wicket. She reviews but three reds.

WICKET! This Indian team and their propensity for a good batting collapse! Oh dear, oh dear. Mithali Raj is gone and it is Sophie Ecclestone making a superb comeback after a not-so-great day with the ball. Given not out on field, but that is a massive inside edge. Taken at short leg, cheeky from Raj to see if England went for the review or not. They did. The Indian captain is gone for 2.

Mithali Raj is welcomed to the middle by some interesting chirping from the English players. This should be interesting.

Zenia D’Cunha: Last 10 overs 25 runs 3 wickets (Both set openers & a nightwatch) England have swung back momentum completely at the fag end of the day and how.

WICKET! Oh, Shikha Pandey. She doesn’t quite do the job that was asked of her. Chips one straight back to Heather Knight. Caught and bowled. India 181/3, after 56 overs.

OH, MISSED CHANCE: Punam Raut leaves one close to the offstump, and there is half an appeal from the English players. Not convincing enough. Replays show there was a glove!

Shikha Pandey has been asked come in to shield the Indian middle order. Not a bad option to have, mind you. She is a quality batter.

WICKET! Oh, Smriti Mandhana! She goes for a big shot, with less than 25 minutes for close of play. Looked like the change of pace did the trick for Nat Sciver. Heather Knight takes a good high catch.

India 179/2, Mandhana out for a superb 78. Had her lives earlier, but played some terrific shots.

Mandhana is back and we are good to go... into the final 30 minutes of the day’s play.

India 177/1: A lengthy break in play as Smriti Mandhana has gone into the dressing room, presumably for a bathroom break.

Ashish Magotra: Shafali’s gone for 96 but this is the kind of innings that will tell her she is capable of so much more. The sky is the limit and she’s just getting started. What a knock!

Aditya Chaturvedi: She perishes for 96 off 152 on Test debut. Heartbreaking end but take a bow, Shafali Verma! The sparkling strokeplay was there, as were a few carefree moments, but it’s her solid defence that stood out. Indian cricket has a 17-year-old star.

STAT: The third highest opening partnership of all time! Mandhana-Verma posted 167.

Highest opening partnerships in Test matches

Partners Runs Opposition Ground Start Date
241 v WI Karachi 15 Mar 2004
Atkins- Brindle 
200 v IND Lucknow 14 Jan 2002
167 v ENG Bristol 16 Jun 2021
163 v NZ Scarborough 21 Aug 2004
147 v SA  Cape Town 13 Jan 1961
via ESPNCricinfo

A DAY TO REMEMBER: 96 on Test debut in England against a bowling attack that had Brunt, Shrubsole, Sciver, Ecclestone. Special innings by a special player. Shafali Verma, one of a kind. She looked gutted as well, as she sat down for a bit beyond the boundary then reluctantly walked to the dressing room. Punam Raut is the new batter in.

WICKET! No century on Test debut but what a fantastic innings by Shafali Verma. She saw the opportunity when Cross went full, but the fielder in the deep gets to the ball in time as the Indian youngster mishit it. Out for 96, visibly disappointed but a day to remember for the teenager. India 167/1.

India 163/0: Mandhana clears her front foot and goes after Cross for a four. And then Shafali lofts one over mid-on for another four to move into the 90s. Not so well timed but enough to clear the fielder.

India: 154/0 The 150 comes up for India... with a SIX from Shafali Verma. Her second of the innings. This is also now the highest ever opening partnership in a Test against England.

Ashish Magotra: Wonderful maturity being shown by Shafali Verma on her Test debut. Still playing her natural game but not in a rush... showing she’s got another lower gear too. Remember the T20 WC, she just couldn’t defend then but now she’s showing how much she has grown as a batter.

India 146/0 after 44 overs. Mandhana (61), Verma (80)

DRINKS BREAK: Phew, it’s just been one milestone after another for India in Bristol! What a partnership this has been.

STAT: Another milestone for Shafali Verma.

Highest scores by an Indian woman on Test debut

Player Runs Opposition Start Date
Shafali Verma 76* v ENG Women 16 Jun 2021
C Kaul 75 v NZ Women 7 Feb 1995
S Rangaswamy 74 v WI Women 31 Oct 1976
S Agarwal 71 v AUS Women 3 Feb 1984
S Pandit 69 v WI Women 31 Oct 1976
via ESPNCricinfo

India 137/0: Mandhana (61), Verma (71)

The record books are going to remain busy with this partnership between Mandhana and Verma. Ecclestone and Cross bowling in tandem now and the Indian openers are looking at ease.

STAT: This is now India’s highest ever opening partnership in Tests

India's best Test partnerships

Partners Wkt Runs Inns Opposition Ground Start Date
Kamini, Raut 2 275 1 v SA Women Mysore 16 Nov 2014
Goswami, Raj 7 157 2 v ENG Women Taunton 14 Aug 2002
Kala, Raj 4 144 2 v ENG Women Taunton 14 Aug 2002
Mandhana, Verma 1 137* 2 v ENG Women Bristol 16 Jun 2021
Chopra,  Raj 3 136 1 v ENG Women Taunton 29 Aug 2006
via ESPNCricinfo

A fair point, to whoever decided the schedule:

India 119/0: Mandhana (53), Verma (62)

Knight expected Ecclestone to play a big role when India came to bat (and for good reason) but huge credit to the Indian openers for the way they have played her. She’s gone for 37 in her first 10 overs. England starting to feel the heat now from this partnership.

India 119/0: Mandhana (53), Verma (62)

A second dropped catch (third if you consider a really thing outside edge that went to the keeper) for Smriti Mandhana. England have not been the sharpest on the field either and India are making the most of it. The runs keep coming at a good pace. Mandhana also has her highest Test score now (not a great sample size but still)

Zenia D’Cunha: It’s back-to-back Test half centuries for Mandhana in England. Even if it’s after 7 years.

HALF CENTURY! Just like she did in her first Test, which was also in England, Smriti Mandhana has reached a half century. All class, as ever. The opening partnership has crossed 100 too, just for the record. India 113/0

Take a bow, Shafali Verma!

STAT: Shafali Verma becomes the SECOND YOUNGEST woman to score a Test half century on Test debut. The youngest Indian.

HALF CENTURY ON DEBUT! Shafali Verma, in her first Test innings, has reached a half century. And gets there in typical fashion: lofted wide of mid-on for four off Ecclestone’s bowling. Entertaining, as ever. Reminder she is 17 years old.

India 89/0 — Mandhana (40), Verma (44)

And now three fours for Mandhana! Sophie Eccelstone is not being allowed to settle down. This is great batting. The English spinner also creates a half chance by getting one to rise a bit on Mandhana, who dabs it past short leg.

India 77/0 — Mandhana (28), Verma (44)

Now, first two balls she faces after tea (from Katherine Brunt, no less) Shafali Verma hits two fours (terrific shots, too. Lofted down the ground and cut away late). And then misses one completely for four byes. Brunt clearly not pleased! Follows that up with a bouncer which is swatted to the fielder on the leg side. This is some entertainment.

India 63/0 — Mandhana (27), Verma (35)

Kate Cross starts with a maiden over to Mandhana. It’s Brunt from the other end, no surprise to see Knight turn to her best right away. Test match is all about session batting, how will Shafali go here?

Third session about to begin.

TEA, DAY 2: India 63/0 — Mandhana (27), Verma (35)

Last before tea, Sophie Ecclestone to Shafali Verma. First ball, slog swept for four. As you do!

The Indian openers have been solid after a tricky opening spell by the English pacers. Both batters are now timing the ball really well. It’s a good session for India.

Aditya Chaturvedi: For Smriti Mandhana, one of the purest strikers in the game, it’s all about being patient and picking the right balls to drive/punch a little harder. She seems to be loving the red ball on her bat and has so much time to play her shots. Joy to watch.

India 59/0: Mandhana (27), Verma (31)

Not the most controlled shot by Mandhana, but she gets enough on it to go past the gully fielder for another boundary. Should be the final over before tea coming up.

India 55/0: Mandhana (23), Verma (31)

Into the 30s goes Shafali with a delightful punch through extra cover off Ecclestone.

India 51/0: Mandhana (23), Verma (27)

The brilliant Sophie Ecclestone is into the attack (one of the best spinners in the world, if not the best as per Heather Knight) and she starts off with a maiden. Everyone had a laugh when she started with a nice full toss. Cross with a maiden over from the other end.

India 51/0: Mandhana (23), Verma (27)

CHANCE! Kate Cross gets Smriti Mandhana to drive one uppishly but it comes back a bit too quickly for her to sort her hands out on the follow through. Never easy, but that was a decent height. Reprieve for the Indian opener who is otherwise timing the ball like a dream now. Played a sensational cover drive in that over for four to bring up the FIFTY PARTNERSHIP.

India 47/0: Mandhana (18), Verma (27)

Like we saw Taniya Bhatia do with Shikha Pandey, Amy Jones is also standing up to Nat Sciver. Trying to pin the Indian openers at the crease, something we often. Sciver beats Mandhana’s outside edge with a peach then bowls a bouncer to Shafali. (One can only hope she gave the ‘keeper a heads up before!)

STAT: Of course there is a Shafali Verma record.

India 42/0: Mandhana (16), Verma (26)

Kate Cross is the fourth pacer to be used by England and she bowls a tidy first over. One of the best bowling actions you will see, that of Cross.

Zenia D’Cunha: A Shafali Verma SIX has been hit. On her Test debut. The power in her strikes... wow.

India 41/0: Mandhana (15), Verma (26)

Well, the Indian openers are now set alright. First, Mandhana plays a superbly timed pull shot for four. And then, Shafali hits the first six of her Test career, lofting Sciver over long off with ridiculous ease.

Some WTC Final news. India have named their XI.

DRINKS BREAK: India 29/0

And what better sign that Mandhana is finding her timing than to see her caress one through the offside for four. It’s a delight to watch her play that, off the front or back foot. India will head for drinks after negotiating a tricky phase.

India 23/0: Mandhana (6), Verma (17)

A maiden over from Shrubsole to Mandhana, who is still a bit edgy out there. Yet to find her timing. Nat Sciver comes on as first change.

India 23/0: Mandhana (6), Verma (17)

Shafali Verma has shown a good mix of defence and aggression in this little phase, but just starting to open up in the last couple of overs. First a cover drive off Shrubsole, then a late cut off Brunt for a four each. Clears leg and goes full T20 mode off a shortish ball next, away from fielders though. Follows that up with the perfect defensive shot. You can’t take your eyes off this at the moment.

India 11/0: Mandhana (4), Verma (7)

Nervy moments there for both openers. Another lobbed shot on the leg side by Mandhana that she didn’t have much clue. Verma goes big on the leg side but no connection, well away from the fielder though. Things starting to happen.

India 8/0: Mandhana (3), Verma (5)

This is as probing a start as we thought it would be from the England pacers. Mandhana is just looking shaky on the leg side, another half-hearted pull falls short of the fine leg fielder. In Shrubsole’s over, Verma showing good composure but lucky that when she pushed hard at one it fell short of slips. Pressure building.

India 6/0: Mandhana (1), Verma (5)

The first boundary, off Shafali’s bat of course. A bit streaky though, outside edge but away from the fielders in the slip cordon.

India 2/0: Mandhana (1), Verma (1)

Interesting, England have a deep square leg in place for Smriti Mandhana. An early trap to see if she will play that checked pull shot, it looks like. She almost fell for it too, but checked it enough in that over for it to fall well short.

India 0/0: Mandhana (0), Verma (0)

Shrubsole to Shafali and we saw perhaps THE most perfect front-foot defence that the Indian youngster has played in her short international career so far! Shrubsole brought one back sharply in that over, going down leg.

India 0/0: Mandhana (0), Verma (0)

Mandhana takes strike against Brunt and plays out a solid first over. Shrubsole to Verma from the other end.

Zenia D’Cunha (clearly excited as many of you probably are): “Time for India’s batting to begin. Putting aside whatever happened in the first innings, it’s time to reset & focus on a big strength – the Top 5. Also Shafali Verma opening in Tests! Smriti Mandhana back in England!”

India innings: Alright then, time for India’s innings in Bristol. And it is indeed Shafali Verma opening the batting with Smriti Mandhana. A new challenge for the youngster.

INNINGS BREAK: How excited are you to see Shafali Verma in action soon? (Assuming she opens the batting... which we will know shortly).


ENG: 396/9 (declared) : WICKET! Sneh Rana picks up her fourth wicket. Anya Shrubsole is out for a quickfire 47 off just 33 balls. And England have declared as well. Heather Knight not wasting much time.

Silver linings, India fans:

Rana to Shrubsole: 4, 4, DROPPED CATCH, 6

This time Vastrakar the culprit in the deep. India’s catching has been a let down despite some sharp takes. England making their intentions clear post lunch, India are now just playing the waiting game.

England 361/8: Dunkley (68), Shrubsole (18)

Shikha Pandey with the first over and immediately there are signs of a gear shift. Dunkley mistimes a lofted shot but Mithali doesn’t react quickly enough at withdrawn mid-off.

Back for the second session. We should see England going for quick runs here.

STAT: This is now England’s third highest Test score while batting first.

England's high scores when batting first

Score Result Opposition Ground Match start
414 draw v NZ Scarborough 24 Jun 1996
414 draw v AUS Guildford 6 Aug 1998
357/8 - v IND Bristol 16 Jun 2021
356/9d draw v NZ Auckland 11 Jan 1992
351/6d draw v SA Johannesburg 17 Dec 1960
Via ESPNCricinfo

LUNCH: 26 overs bowled in a session with just seven of those from pacers and 19 from spinners is... not ideal. England will be delighted how that morning went, despite the overcast conditions. Mithali Raj and Co let the game drift and are now left playing catch-up.

LUNCH, DAY TWO: 357/8 (118 overs)

What a morning for Sophia Dunkley and England! “A little bit of a blur to be honest,” she tells on her way back to the dressing roon. Deepti Sharma will look back at the dropped catch with regret. It has not been India’s session in many ways despite the early wicket.

Jhulan Goswami will bowl the final over before lunch. England have crossed 350 as well.... 353/8.

STAT: Sophia Dunkley is now the 11th England woman to score a half century on Test debut.

Harmanpreet Kaur will get a few overs as we get close to lunch.

England 333/8: Dunkley (56), Shrubsole (2)

You know the English batting order is a strong one when you see Shrubsole at No 10. A bowling change for India now, with Vastrakar coming on for her first spell of the day.

Some big news away from the cricket.

ENGLAND 326/8: WICKET! Finally, the second wicket of the morning for India (but also signs that England want to get a move on). Ecclestone goes for a big shot, is caught at mid-on by Pandey. Third wicket for Deepti Sharma. (There was another LBW decision overturned in that over)

HALF CENTURY! A memorable moment for Sophia Dunkley as she gets to a fifty on Test debut. Came into bat when there was a collapse, withered the storm, had a reprieve too but has played a gem of an innings.

GOOD REVIEW: Sophia Dunkley is given out LBW but this time, the review comes in handy for England. It has turned too much and is missing leg stump. (We jinxed umpire Sue Redfern!) Jokes aside, a debut on 50 is still on for Dunkley. England 322/7, Dunkley on 48*.

More commentary discussion on India’s over-rates and urgency on the field. While it is understandable that 92 overs in a day (100 overs limit) was not ideal, worth pointing out that India are playing a Test after 7 years. Surely that needs some consideration in criticising how they should be moving faster and planning better etc? (The time that the drinks break took now was not fun though, it must be said. Doesn’t help with the tempo of viewing.)

DRINKS BREAK England 312/7: Ecclestone (15), Dunkley (39)

The field has started to spread out. Just one slip and a straightish mid-on. Signs that India are now in restriction mode. This has been a disappointing morning for their standpoint after how well they finished last night. That dropped catch has been super crucial but so has been the general lack of pressure / intensity. A later, slightly desperate review for LBW in the latest Rana over. Umpire Sue Redfern, meanwhile, has had a great game. Another boundary for Dunkley in the next over from Deepti.

First innings, England 301/7: Dunkley (29) Ecclestone (14)

300 comes up in the 103rd over! The target that England had set themselves has been achieved. Sophia Dunkley is playing a little gem on her debut and India have not been able to make the most of the pressure they built since the final session last night.

DROPPED: Oh dear! That’s another dropped catch, the second of this innings by Deepti Sharma. Wasn’t quite clear if Dunkley had hit it into the ground but on replays, it was a clear chance. And a simple one too. India’s catching has been a strange mix in this match. Three fairly simple chances put down and three tough ones taken. England 297/7.

Deepti continues and Mithali moves Smriti to silly cover instead of a silly point, so to speak for the cover drive.

First innings, England 294/7: Dunkley (24) Ecclestone (6)

A lovely over of offspin bowling by Rana as she gets the ball to turn and bounce a couple of times. A big appeal for caught behind in that over, not reviewed by India though. It seemed closer for a LBW shout though, but replays confirm umpire’s call.

First innings, England 292/7: Dunkley (22) Ecclestone (6)

Oh, interesting. It wasn’t until the final session that spinners bowled in tandem on day one. It has happened in the first 30 minutes of day two. Deepti joins Rana in the attack.

First innings, England 286/7: Dunkley (22) Ecclestone (6)

Despite the early wicket (or maybe because?) England are looking for quick runs and Dunkley is playing a little gem on her debut to take her side close to 300. A couple of boundaries in that Goswami over and Mithali turns to spin from the other end. Rana comes on.

STAT: With her 41st Test wicket (one that came nearly 7 years later than her 40th) Jhulan Goswami has equalled Neetu David as the third-joint leading wicket-taker in Tests for India.

India's leading wicket-taker in Tests

Player Mat Wkts BBI Ave 5
DF Edulji  20 63 6/64 25.77 1
S Kulkarni 19 60 6/99 27.45 5
J Goswami  11* 41 5/25 17.29 3
N David  10 41 8/53 18.90 1
via ESPNCricinfo

England 270/7 after 94 overs: WICKET! India have struck in the second over of the day and Jhulan Goswami has her first wicket of the match. Terrific review from India, who were convinced it hit Brunt’s pad first. Quite a few shouts of “pad pehle pad pehle” and they were all right. Just the start Mithali Raj and Co wanted.

Right then. Shikha Pandey will start off the day’s proceedings. Lights are on we are told, and India have a hardly-used second new ball.

England fall of wickets:

1/69, (Lauren Winfield-Hill, 20.3)
2/140, (Tammy Beaumont, 48.1)
3/230, (Natalie Sciver, 72.6)
4/236, (Amy Jones, 75.4)
5/244, (Heather Knight, 78.1)
6/251, (Georgia Elwiss, 81.2)

Hello everyone and welcome to our live blog of day two in the one-off Test match between England and India in Bristol.

Here’s day one recap: Sneh Rana, Deepti Sharma turn it around at the end of a trying day


India’s XI: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar

England XI: Heather Knight (C), Nat Sciver (VC), Tammy Beaumont , Katherine Brunt , Kate Cross, Sophia Dunkley , Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield-Hill