Recent Match Report – India (W) vs England (W) 3rd T20I 2023/24

India 130 for 5 (Mandhana 48, Rodrigues 29, Kemp 2-24) beat England 126 (Knight 52, Patil 3-19, Ishaque 3-22) by five wickets

India’s new spin pair of Shreyanka Patil and Saika Ishaque and an improved batting performance led them to a consolation victory in the third and final T20I against England at the Wankhede Stadium.
The things that had gone wrong as India slumped to a 2-0 deficit in the series came together as Renuka Singh finally found support with the ball and, despite Shafali Verma’s second failure in as many matches following her half-century in the series opener, India staged a key batting partnership with Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues adding 57, which helped chew through a modest target. With captain Harmanpreet Kaur delaying her entrance after appearing to twist her foot while fielding – she came in at No. 5 – she marshalled the remainder of the chase with Amanjot Kaur to seal victory with an over to spare.
Patil and Ishaque built on Renuka’s good early deeds to run through England’s middle order as the visitors lost five wickets for nine runs in the space of 21 balls, lurching from 67 for 3 to 76 for 8 before Heather Knight‘s half-century salvaged something from the innings. Knight, England’s captain, provided her side’s sole resistance, hitting down the ground as the majority of her countrywomen perished sweeping or cutting. Twin sixes over long-on in three Amanjot deliveries took Knight past fifty in the final over of the innings before she holed out on the penultimate ball, with Mahika Gaur giving Amanjot two wickets in as many balls when she was caught by Deepti Sharma at cover point with England all out for 126.

With India needing 11 runs from the last two overs, Sophie Ecclestone bowled Richa Ghosh attempting to paddle and put some pressure back on India but Amanjot, who replaced Pooja Vastrakar in the side, pierced the covers for four next ball to ease the tension and another four levelled the scores before her reverse sweep took her to 13 not out in just four balls and India to victory.

Newcomers shine for India

Patil and Ishaque, who both made their T20I debuts in the first match of this series, were pivotal in England’s demise. Patil, the 21-year-old offspinner, held on at deep midwicket to remove Amy Jones for 25 off 21 and give Ishaque her second wicket, sparking the rot for England. Left-arm spinner Ishaque, a revelation as the inaugural WPL’s joint third-highest wicket-taker, had already had Alice Capsey taken by Rodrigues at extra cover and she then bowled Danielle Gibson for a duck attempting to cut.

Bess Heath, making her T20I debut as England rang in the changes, did little better, giving Patil her first with an attempted reverse sweep which found Amanjot at backward point. Patil then had Kemp lbw and Ecclestone bowled, on the cut and sweep respectively. Both India spinners overcame nervy debuts, Patil taking 2 for 44 from her four overs in the first match as Ishaque took 1 for 38, and reinforced India’s faith in a revamped side.

Renuka reprises powerplay role

Just as she had in the first two matches, Renuka struck early, removing both England openers inside the first three overs. On this occasion, with Danni Wyatt, who scored 75 in the opening match, making way for Maia Bouchier in this dead rubber, Renuka struck with the third ball of the match, a slightly fuller one that nipped back a little and pierced Bouchier’s tentative prod, bowling her through the gate.

Renuka also accounted for an out-of-sorts Sophia Dunkley for the third time in as many matches, throwing her hands at a ball outside off stump which was there to be hit but she just couldn’t clear Patil at backward point. Dunkley’s score of 11 was her highest of the series and came amid a lean stretch dating back to the Ashes in the middle of this year, where she managed just one half-century – in the first T20I – and has scored just one since – at the WBBL last month. Unlike in the opening two games, however, Renuka’s good work received ample support in the form of Patil and Ishaque.

Mandhana, Rodrigues step up

Scores of 159 for 6 in pursuit of 198, where Shafali lacked support from her team-mates, and 80 all-out raised worrying questions over India’s batting ahead of this match. But Mandhana and Rodrigues stepped up when required. Mandhana’s run-a-ball 48 included two glorious sixes over deep midwicket and long-off, and five fours while Rodrigues was particularly effective on the sweep on the way to her 29 off 33.

Offspinner Charlie Dean had broken their stand with a full ball that rapped Rodrigues on the back thigh as she knelt to sweep, her call for DRS unable to save her as ball-tracking showed the ball on target. Soon after, Mandhana also fell, agonisingly short of her half-century when she drove tamely to Dunkley off Ecclestone. But the India duo had set their side up and gone some way to answering those batting questions while Amanjot’s cameo at the end gave her side more encouragement.

England, meanwhile, missed Nat Sciver-Brunt, who was rested from the match but still named Player of the Series for her 93 runs and two wickets, her 77 in a 138-run stand with Wyatt in the opening game the standout performance. Sarah Glenn, who is not part of England’s squad for the Test starting on Thursday, missed the match with a thumb fracture picked up in the second T20I.

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