Team India opener Smriti Mandhana smashed an unbeaten 79 off 53 balls with 13 boundaries to set up India Women cricket team’s series-levelling eight-wicket win at Derby on Tuesday (September 13) night. Chasing 143 to win, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur remained unbeaten on 29 off 22 as India reached home with more than 3 overs to spare.
England had fought back from 54/5 in the 10th over to post a total of 142/6 thanks to a brilliant half-century from the 17-year-old Freya Kemp, who became the youngest woman batter to reach the landmark in T20 internationals. But India severely punished the bowling of the left-armer, with Shafali Verma (20 off 17) and Smriti Mandhana smashing 19 runs off her one over, during their opening stand of 55 from 35 balls.
Shafali was caught and bowled by Sophie Ecclestone at the end of the powerplay, but Mandhana powered on to a 36-ball half-century. Alongside her, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur – dropped by Danni Wyatt at deep midwicket on 20 – sailed along to 29 from 22 balls as India romped home.
“After the last match we needed to come back stronger and level the series. I was pushing myself not to play a rash shot and take it deep. It’s good to bat, good wicket. I found my touch back, timing the ball the way I want to. You go out as an opener and try to give your team a good start,” Mandhana said after the match.