Three wickets for Anya Shrubsole and a half-century for Nat Sciver guided England Women to a four-wicket win over India in their third game of the Commbank IT20 Tri-Series.
Shrubsole – back into the side after missing the last game through an injury to her foot – led a disciplined bowling effort that pegged India back after a quick start and saw them finish on 123/6.
In reply, England lost three early wickets but Sciver was assured throughout, combining initially with captain Heather Knight and then putting on 49 with Fran Wilson to break the back of the chase.
Sciver will be disappointed to have been dismissed with the finish line in sight but it was a mature and reassuring innings from the all-rounder.
She had earlier gone at just 5.50 from her two overs, with Knight also exploiting the slow surface to race through three overs for just 10 runs. But it was Shrubsole who was awarded the Player of the Match award for dismissing Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur and Taniya Bhatia.
England will face Australia in the final game of the Tri-Series group stage on Sunday, with the start time having been moved to 11.40am (00.40GMT) to accommodate the Bushfire Cricket Bash.
Nat Sciver: “We bowled well to keep them to 120-odd and I’m happy to have stayed out there and got us towards the win. I didn’t feel great throughout my innings and I would have liked to have been there at the end but it was a good win.
“We had to utilise the conditions, both us and Australia had used the short ball against India in Canberra but today’s track was slow so there were a lot of cutters and pace-off options.
“It’s good to win and we can take confidence from this going into the World Cup. Lisa’s been great since she’s come in, her and Tim Macdonald. We’re trying to take a bit more ownership as players and it all feels happy and relaxed at the moment, hopefully we can keep that going and keep improving.”
Comments from our correspondent Julian Thompson:
England snatch a second consecutive T20 series win over India, a few days after beating Australia. Existing readers will have read that England fell to defeat by India in the opening game of this T20 series.
*Batting first, India (123/6) faced England’s seasoned pace attack from Katherine Brunt (2-23) & Anya Shrubsole (3-31)
*Smriti Mandhana (45) top scored for India (six 4’s and one 6) until caught behind by Amy Jones off Katherine Brunt
*India looked rattled by the 100 ball benchmark (16.4 overs); at 97/4 with disaster looming in the 17th over
*During the 17th over, Anya Shrubsole’s fourth ball dismissed India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur (14); caught by Nat Sciver. Two balls later, Taniya Bhatia (8) was also caught
*Crucially, England’s bowling reduced India’s tail end to single figures, during the final three overs. Only Deepti Sharma dared to hit four runs
*England’s cautious reply lost three early wickets (28/3): Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s bowling (3-23) causing concern
*Nat Sciver’s timely 50 included six 4’s and one 6, before she was caught-and-bowled by Gayakwad
*Partnering Sciver and Fran Wilson, captain Heather Knight (18) scampered singles, also caught off Gayakwad.
*Fran Wilson (20*) stood firm and England needed 18 runs to win, off the last 20 balls
*Lauren Winfield (2*) hit the two winning runs off Radha Yadav (1-24), to see England home with seven balls to spare
Courtesy of the ECB