Brunt, Knight negate some excellent Indian performances
England fashioned an incredible turnaround and beat India by two wickets and seven balls to spare in the third ODI against England at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.
There were a number of a high-quality performances from the Indians after losing Jemimah Rodrigues to the second ball of the day. Smriti Mandhana excelled with her controlled aggression and forged a 128-run partnership for the second wicket with Punam Raut.
Thereafter, Jhulan Goswami made the new ball count with a three-wicket haul in her opening spell and Shikha Pandey removed Sarah Taylor and delivered another crucial breakthrough dismissing the in-form Danielle Wyatt. Wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia also came up with another stellar display.
But after almost seven hours of competitive cricket it was Anya Shrubsole’s pull to the boundary off the first ball she faced from leg-spinner Poonam Yadav that turned out to be the defining moment of the match. England, thus added two points to its tally in the ICC Women’s Championship table.
Having lost the three-match series, England’s sole objective was to salvage some pride and travel to Sri Lanka for the next set of the Championship matches with a win under its belt.
With India sailing smoothly at 129 for one on the back of a century stand by Smriti and Punam, it appeared an uphill task for England.
However, seamer Katherine Brunt provided an incisive spell (five for 28) to alter the situation. She had gone wicket-less in five previous matches against India.
After the collapse, India recovered to take its score to a little over 200.
England had struggled to chase a 200 plus target in the first match and its chase on Thursday looked on the wane after Jhulan dismissed the top three, off-spinner Deepti cut short the tenure of Natalie Sciver and Shikha trapped Sarah Taylor leg before.
But not one to give up, skipper Heather Knight (47, 63b, 6×4) inspired an England comeback with a show of resolve that ultimately saw her team prevail.
Heather added 69 for the sixth wicket with Wyatt, who showed remarkable poise against the spinners and notched up her first half-century in 62 matches.
Brunt was declared Player-of-the-Match.