CANBERRA, Jan 31: Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur struck an unbeaten 42 following a fine bowling performance to set up India’s thrilling five-wicket win over England in the first match of the women’s triangular T20 series here on Friday.
Indian spinners – Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/19), Deepti Sharma (2/30) and left armer Radha Yadav (1/33) – restricted England to 147 for seven in stipulated 20 overs, while right-arm medium pacer Shikha Pandey (2/33) accounted for two at the Manuka Oval.
Harmanpreet took the run chase deep after the Indian top order, including the 15-year-old Shafali Verma (30), Smriti Mandhana (15) and Jemimah Rodrigues (26) – squandered good starts.
Veda Krishnamurthy (7) and Taniya Bhatia (11) also failed to stay at the crease as England bowlers struck at regular intervals.
With six needed off the last over, Harmanpreet, whose innings was studded with five boundaries until then, hit a towering six to take India to 150 for five and end the match in style with three balls to spare.
Earlier, put in to bat, England suffered a top order batting collapse as openers Amy Jones (1) and Danni Wyatt (4) were dismissed cheaply.
Natalie Sciver (20) and Fran Wilson (7) soon followed, leaving England reeling at 59 for four in 10 overs.
Skipper Heather Knight then took charge, hitting a brisk 44-ball 67. Her innings was laced with eight boundaries and two sixes.
Wicketkeeper Tammy Beaumont supported her captain with a 27-ball 37. The duo helped England post a fighting total.
Brief Scores: England 147 for 7 in 20 overs (Heather Knight 67, Tammy Beaumont 37; Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/19) lost by five wickets to India: 150 for 5 in 19.3 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 42 not out, Shafali Verma 30; Katherine Brunt 2/33). – PTI