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Audacious Mandhana spearheads India to an 8-wicket over win England

image-l7zz6vrxSmriti Mandhana was in cracking touch on Tuesday [Image Credits; Twitter]

A brilliant spell from off-spinner Sneh Rana (3/24 in 3) and violent, sustained poetry in batting from Smriti Mandhana (79* off 53 deliveries) has helped India women enforce a series decider as they thumped England by 8 wickets in the 2nd T20I on Tuesday (September 13).

Chasing 143, India got off to a cracking start as Smriti and Shafali Verma flayed the English bowlers to all corners of the ground.

Smriti, as she always does, set the tone early in the innings as she stepped down against seamer Lauren Bell to cut her delivery behind square in the first over of the innings.

It was a sign of things to follow as Mandhana, en route to her 17th T20I half-century, unleashed poetic violence of the highest order, painting every corner of the County ground with her audacious strokeplay.

Dabs? Check. Swivel pull? Check. Lofted on-drive? Check. Square-cut? Check. Lofted straight drive? Check. Cover-drive? Check? Ramp over short fine-leg? Check. You name it and it was there.

She got decent support from Shafali Verma, who was typically brutal in her short, but entertaining stay at the crease. The duo added 53 runs in just 5.3 overs before a sensational return catch from Sophie Ecclestone brought an end to Shafali's innings.

Smriti, however, continued with her onslaught as she used her feet and pristine timing to put Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn off their lengths.

Dayalan Hemalatha followed suit Harmanpreet Kaur came out and matched Smriti for blows to blows to restore normal services. 

Smriti completed yet another half-century off 36 deliveries and she celebrated that by swivel pulling, ramping Ecclestone before finishing things off in style courtesy of a statement-making lofted off drive to hand her side a comprehensive victory. 

Sneh Rana spearhead India's attack; Freya Kemp led England's revival

image-l7zz3rjfFreya Kemp played a blinder [Image Credits: Twitter]

Earlier, England got off to a horror start as they lost their top-3 for just 16 runs in the first 3 overs.

Off-spinner Deepti Sharma gave India a perfect start as she had Sophia Dunkley (5 off 5) stumped off her first delivery before Renuka Singh Thakur nicked off Dani Wyatt in the next over.

It continued to become worse for the hosts as Alice Capsey got run-out in the same over thanks to a sensational fielding effort from Radha Yadav.

The slow left-arm orthodox did not have a great day with the ball (0-36 in 4) but she truly made up for it in the field as she backed up that run-out with a brilliant full-length diving catch at wide long-on to remove Bryony Smith (16 off 15).

Rana was the pick of the Indian bowlers. She backed up the dismissal of Smith by removing Amy Jones, who, in her attempt to reverse-sweep the off-spinner, had her stumps shattered.

However, a dominant half-century from Freya Kemp (51* off 37) and equally brilliant 26-ball 34 from Maia Bouchier infused life in the game, lifting England finished with 142-6 in 20 overs.

The series-decider will take place in Bristol on 15th September.

Brief Scores:

England Women 142/6 (20)

Freya Kemp 51* (37), Maia Bouchier 34 (26)
Sneh Rana 3/24 (40), Deepti Sharma 1/21 (4)

India Women 146/2 (16.4)

Smriti Mandhana 79* (53), Harmanpreet Kaur 29* (22)
Sophie Ecclestone 1/22 (3), Freya Davies 1/30 (3.4)

India won to level the series 1-1

Also Read: Sarah Glenn claims 2nd spot in the ICC women's T20I rankings for bowlers