Guwahati, Monday, February 25, 2019
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India women eyeing series win against England

 MUMBAI, Feb 24: Their tails up after a morale-boosting win in the opener, a confident Indian women’s team would look to seal the three-match series against world champions England when they meet in the second ODI here on Monday.

India women couldn’t have asked for a better start to the series, defeating the current world champions by 66 runs in the opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

The win not only gave a fillip to their confidence but also enabled India grab crucial two points in the ICC Women’s Championship as the race for securing direct qualification spots for the 2021 World Cup heats up.

India need to hold on to its position in top four of the world rankings till 2020 to get a direct berth in the 2021 World Cup and in this context, a second successive victory on Monday would do a world of good for the hosts.

The hosts have a lot of positives to take from the win, especially the clinical performance of its bowling unit led by left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht.

Bisht starred with the ball with figures of 4 for 25 as Indian spinners made England dance to their tunes.

England batswomen struggled in the middle overs as they failed to counter the variety provided by Bisht, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav and off-spinner Deepti Sharma (2/33).

Upfront veteran Jhulan Goswami (1/19) and Shikha Pandey (2/21) gave India a perfect setting while defending the modest 202-run target.

On the batting front, young opener Jemimah Rodrigues has been in fine touch while Smriti Mandhana, who made 24, would be looking to make up for the lost opportunity in the series opener.

Skipper Mithali Raj, who made 44 and is still going strong in the 50-over format, is the backbone of India’s batting line-up but she would look for support from the likes of Deepti Sharma, Mona Meshram and young Harleen Deol, who got a chance in place of injured Harmanpreet Kaur. – PTI

Match starts at 9 AM

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