Latest Match Report – India (W) vs England (W) 1st T20I 2023/24

England 197 for 6 (Skiver-Friend 77, Wyatt 75, Renuka 3-27) lost India 159 for 6 (Shabali 52, Ecclestone 3-15) 38 runs

Nat Skiver-Friend and Danny Wyatt pulled England back from 2 for 2 to take a 1-0 lead in the T20I series against India.

After Renuka Singh reduced the visitors to 2 for 2 in the first over of the match at the Wankhede Stadium, the duo scored quickfire half-centuries in an 87-ball 138, eventually reaching England’s second-highest T20 score against India. Shafali Verma’s 42-ball 52 proved a lofty target though.

Wyatt, playing his 150th T20I and making an uneventful return after a seven-week layoff, withdrew from the WBBL at the end of the English summer, citing fatigue. He scored 75 off 47 balls with 2 sixes and 8 fours. Sciver-Brunt cemented England’s absence in the 2-1 T20I series loss against Sri Lanka in September, scoring 77 off 53 balls and was equally crucial to the visitors’ recovery. Skiver-Friend, who bowled sparingly in the white-ball area of ​​the Ashes after injuring his knee in the Test against Australia in June, took a wicket off Smriti Mandana for just six off his second ball.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone – playing for the first time since surgery on a dislocated right shoulder in August – produced her best T20I spell against India with 3 for 15 in four overs. Teenage all-rounder Freya Kemp, who has been playing purely as a batsman since injuring her back in England’s Caribbean tour a year ago, took the wicket of Jemima Rodriguez and settled for single figures, her side allaying doubts. It was only three months ago that their short-form spread spread.

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A dream begins for Renuka

Renuka took two wickets in as many balls – her fourth and fifth of the match, no less – as Sophia Dunkley’s batting woes continued to put England in dire straits at 2 for 2. Having missed England’s white-ball series against Sri Lanka following a lean Ashes campaign that saw him manage just one half-century amid single-digit scores in the WBBL, Dunkley returned to the starting XI, Maia Bouchier. The position of openers in her absence.

But when Dunkley squeezed the second ball she faced from Renuka, she found herself in trouble as the ball bounced off her elbow and onto the stumps. Renuka dismissed Alice Capsey on the first ball with a gem of a delivery that was ducked and bounced inside the off stump. Sciver-Brunt narrowly missed out on a hat-trick but Renuka’s early outings made India look superfluous and made a welcome return to their pace spearhead, overcoming a stress injury to play in his first international since February.

Sciver-Brunt, Wyatt Stable Matters

Sciver-Brunt and Wyatt brought the home side back down to earth with their third wicket stand and England’s recovery to 140 for 3 when Wyatt advanced to debutant left-arm spinner Saika Ishaq and was stumped by Richa Ghosh. Wyatt should have been out moments after reaching her half-century, but Pooja Vastrakar bowled a sitter at long-on against another India debutant, Sreyanka Patil. Two balls earlier, Sreyanka dropped a low-return catch to Skiver-Friend, with 45 at the time. Both chances also registered Wyatt’s thunderous sixes over long-off, his second highest. Shreyanka eventually picked up her first wicket, deceiving England captain Heather Knight with a full straight delivery off the stumps.

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Skiver-Brunt and Wyatt upped the tempo after the halfway point of the innings, and it went to 19 as Skiver-Brunt plundered four fours in a Vastragar over. Renuka returned to the attack to remove Skiver-Friend in the last over, and Ghosh collected an edge with a superb dive to his right to complete a fine knock that included 13 boundaries. Harmanpreet Kaur kept faith with Sreyanka in the last over, who conceded 16 runs, before Jemima Rodriguez took a catch in the deep midwicket region to dismiss Amy Jones, making it 23 for 23 off the last ball. Just shy of 200, which was not reached in the opening stages of the tournament.

She is baaaack

England were understandably tight-lipped about Ecclestone’s chances of playing in the tournament, with captain Heather Knight and leg-spinner Sarah Glenn giving none away in pre-match press conferences, as they watched her closely. It was hard to take your eyes off the world’s leading spinner, who suffered an injury to his non-bowling shoulder while warming up to a hundred. Just as Skiver-Brunt and Wyatt ramped up the pressure on the hosts after the mid-innings drinks break, Ecclestone removed Harmanbreith in the second ball after the break, Harmanbreith bowled right at the cut stumps. Only managed to cut.

Shafali was determined, especially early in his innings, when he hit three of his nine fours in a skewer-front over. But she had no support from her team-mates and the home crowd fell silent when Ecclestone and Glenn combined to remove her and an Ecclestone was thrown on the off-stump and Glenn was taken out at backward point. Kanika had another toss up to Ahuja to take a skewer-friendly catch in the 19th over. Glenn took 1 for 25 from his four overs, and while India shrugged off a poor fielding performance, England’s win was nothing short of clinical after their initial stumble.

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Valkerie Baynes is the general editor of women’s cricket at ESPNcricinfo

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