Natalie Sciver dazzles as England beat India in rain-hit first Women’s T20I

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Natalie Sciver and Amy Jones stitched together a 78-run partnership

Northampton:  England women’s dominance continued as they edge past India by 18 runs (D/L) in the first game of the T20I series in Northampton on Friday. Batting first at the County Ground, through Natalie Sciver’s swashbuckling 27-ball 55 and Amy Jones (43), the host put up 177.  In reply, India were scratching at  54/3 when the showers came down.

Sent into bat first, England were off to a steady start with the opening duo of Tammy Beaumont (18) and Danielle Wyatt (31) adding 48 runs in the powerplay. Radha Yadav broke the partnership two overs later sending the right-hander Wyatt home. India clawed their way to the game as the hosts lost another two wickets in quick succession including skipper Heather Knight for six.

The hosts were struggling at 85/3 in 11.2 overs before Sciver alongside wicketkeeper Jones started the onslaught clobbering every visiting bowler to the boundary adding valuable 78 runs for the fourth wicket in just seven overs. Except for Sikha Pandey (3/22), none of the Indian bowlers provided any sort of resilience.

Both the batters played the same amount of deliveries but it was Sciver who smashed her way to a half-century but got out in the last over courtesy of Harleen Deol’s athletism at the ropes.

Chasing 178, India struggled from the start. Katherine Brunt sent Shafali Verma home for a duck in the opening over and Harleen Deol found it difficult to get the rhythm going. Smriti Mandhana boosted the scoreboard with a 17-ball 29 before falling to Sciver. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s inconsistency continued as she was a mere guest for a couple of deliveries.

India despite the slow run rate looked good, however, with the shower coming down thick and heavy the calculations started to begin and it was declared that the visitors were behind the par score resulting in a 1-0 lead for England.

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