Danni Wyatt scored a remarkable hundred to marshal another record chase for England and overcome India’s total of 198/4, securing a seven-wicket win in Mumbai.
The opener, who scored her first IT20 ton against Australia in Canberra, reached her landmark from just 52 balls and went on to make 124, the second-highest individual total in the history of women’s IT20s and England’s highest individual score.
She combined with Tammy Beaumont (35) to put on 97 for the second wicket and help see her side home with eight balls to spare.
It had seemed unlikely at the interval after Smriti Mandhana – who scored a memorable 90 in the group match between these sides in last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup – put together an attractive 76 to help India set such an imposing total.
She punished anything short but was also quick to hit over the top when the bowling was too full, giving England’s inexperienced attack very little margin for error.
Mandhana and her opening partner, captain Mithali Raj, weren’t separated until the penultimate ball of the 13th over, by which point they’d already put on 129.
Nat Sciver was the wicket-taker, with Beaumont taking a good catch at point. The next to go was Raj, falling to Tash Farrant who was arguably England’s best bowler in a trying innings.
The wickets of Mandhana and Raj saw England wrest back some control and at one point it looked as if India may only reach 175 but some very impressive late hitting from young Pooja Vastrakar took them to the sizeable 198/4.
Despite the intimidating nature of England’s chase they could take heart from having won in pursuit of 178 at Canberra in November.
Wyatt – the hero on that occasion – and her young partner Bryony Smith knew they needed a fast start and they went hell for leather in the powerplay, finding it just as conducive for batting as the Indian side had.
They rocketed along to 67 for the loss of just Smith – bowled for 15 trying to paddle Jhulan Goswami – but just as she did on Friday, Beaumont kept things going with a vital innings of her own.
Beaumont and Wyatt peppered the fence, keeping the rate up at 10 runs an over and causing no end of headaches for Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
The partnership – like Sciver’s and Beaumont’s against Australia – was an exhibition in boundary-hitting, gap-finding and hard running.
It was as much a display of England’s fitness and cricket intelligence as it was their ability to hit big.
Wyatt brought up an excellent ton, her second in three IT20 matches, and celebrated in front of a crowd that featured her very proud father, Steve.
It was left to Sciver and Heather Knight to knock off the winning runs in the eighteenth over.
Mark Robinson will be so delighted with his side’s fortitude after a difficult innings in the field and Wyatt’s brilliance means it’s two from two with Australia the next match on Wednesday.
Heather Knight (Berkshire, captain)
Tammy Beaumont (Kent)
Kate Cross (Lancashire)
Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent)
Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire)
Tash Farrant (Kent)
Katie George (Hampshire)
Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire)
Alex Hartley (Lancashire)
Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire)
Amy Jones (Warwickshire, wicketkeeper)
Anya Shrubsole (Somerset)
Bryony Smith (Surrey)
Nat Sciver (Surrey)
Fran Wilson (Middlesex)
Danni Wyatt (Sussex)
22 March – 1st IT20: India v Australia, Mumbai (Australia win by 6 wickets)
23 March – 2nd IT20: Australia v England, Mumbai (England win by eight wickets)
25 March – 3rd IT20: India v England, Mumbai (England win by seven wickets)
26 March – 4th IT20: India v Australia, Mumbai
28 March – 5th IT20: Australia v England, Mumbai
29 March – 6th IT20: India v England, Mumbai
31 March – Final: Mumbai
6 April – 1st ODI: India v England Nagpur
9 April – 2nd ODI: India v England, Nagpur
12 April – 3rd ODI: India v England, Nagpur
Report courtesy of the ECB