England v India: women’s Test match, day two – as it happened

Last modified: 05: 54 PM GMT+0

England grabbed a flurry of early-evening wickets after Shafali Verma thrilled on Test debut with 96

Raf Nicholson's day two report

What a cracking day! First, Dunkley’s fifty on debut and a lot of elbow and wallop from Anya Shrubsole. Then a lip-smacking, memorable, partnership between Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana. Grace from Mandhana and power and glory from Verma, who fell just a carefree fingernail from a hundred on Test debut, aged 17. Then a fightback and a half from England who took 5-16 into the shadows. Phew! That’s it from me, thanks for your messages, see you tomorrow and have a wonderful evening!

Shafali Verma
Test debut superstar Verma falls for 96. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA


“That hour at the end of play is what Test cricket is all about, fielders round the bat,” says Sophie Ecclestone, who picked up Mithali Raj with just minutes left of the day.


Stumps India 187-5, trail by 209 runs

60th over: India 183-5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 0, Sharma 0) Kaur wallops a short one through point - too good to ignore - and then survives Ecclestone’s final ball of the day, ready to fight another one. What a collapse by India from a position of utter dominance, losing 5 for 16.



An inside edge onto the stumps

REVIEW! Kaur lbw Ecclestone o....

Kaur asks the question...

59th over: India 183-5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 0, Sharma 0) Two wickets for four runs for captain Knight! England crowd Sharma, fielders at her knee and in her head. She does her shoe laces up, slowly. A wicket maiden!

WICKET! Raut lbw Knight 2 (India 183-5)

Not a clever leave as Raut sticks her pad out to one that turns just slightly towards her stumps. Hand slaps all round from a delighted England.

58th over: India 183-4 (Harmanpreet Kaur 0, Raut 2) India have lost four wickets for 15 runs. The follow on is 246, but England have to get past one-day captain Kaur first.

WICKET! Raj c Beaumont b Ecclestone 2 (India 183-4)

A thick edge, well caught by Ecclestone and well reviewed by Heather Knight. England are cock-a-hoop!


57th over: India 181-3 (Raj 0, Raut 0) A tumble of wickets just before stumps changes the dynamic! Raj has to come in with just over quarter of an hour remaining. Raut gets off the mark at last, with a couple, then Sciver pins her down , accompanied by with some neat glovework from Jones.


WICKET! Pandey c and b Knight (India 179-3)

The nightwatchman goes, Pandey sends the ball straight back to Heather Knight who makes no mistake catching low in her follow-through.

55th over: India 179-2 (Pandey 0, Raut 0) Great persistence by Sciver and the breakthrough England needed, as India send in the nightwatchman. Sciver then slides one past Raut, Jones collects, looks interested, but doesn’t press for a review - except, darn it, the television shows the tickle of a glove.


WICKET! MAndhana c Brunt b Sciver 78 (India 179-2)

Ooof and it nearly slipped through Brunt’s fingers - not what you want to do to your fiancee! The end of a magnificent innings by Mandhana - and changes the complexion totally with two new batters at the crease.

54th over: India 179-1 (Mandhana 78, Raut 0) Another tidy over from Knight, coming around the wicket, ending with an lbw appeal against Raut. So, what next for this game? The forecast is for rain tomorrow afternoon. A declaration? England going big?

53rd over: India 178-1 (Mandhana 77, Raut 0) Time for Sciver to have another dart. Just the one run to Mandhana as Rana, who has faced 16 balls for her nought, plays out the over.

They’ve got Ecclestone’s pitch map up on Sky and its a bit of a vomit of dots. And here, we see that India are gathering their runs more quickly than England did. Though that could change with Verma’s dismissal.

India comfortably outpacing England. pic.twitter.com/2aSNBpt2JS

— CRICKETher 🏏 (@crickether) June 17, 2021

52nd over: India 177-1 (Mandhana 76, Raut 0) Just noticed how much whiter the Indian whites are. England are definitely in creams. Knight continues, floating them up to Raut. A maiden.

They’re taking a short drinks break while Mandhana pops to the loo.

51st over: India 177-1 (Mandhana 76, Raut 0) Mandhana isn’t too fazed by the loss of her young partner and lathers Cross through midwicket to the rope. A pull follows, picked up quite low and banged away. - if Mandhana does anything that uncouth.

I wonder if Verma’s innings might have as big an impact on women’s cricket as Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171 against Australia in the semi-final of the 2017 World Cup. IT will be talked about in a similar way - just a shame she couldn’t quite grab the three figures.


50th over: India 167-1 (Mandhana 66, Raut 0) Knight fumbles in her run-up but sends down a maiden.

49th over: India 167-1 (Mandhana 66, Raut 0) Another Verma special, a late, late, glide-cut took her to 96. A scratch of the nose under the grill was the only indication that she might be nervous. A super, super innings, and England have the breakthrough they were straining for.

WICKET! Verma c Shrubsole b Cross 96 (India 167-1)

NO!!!!!!!!! A smart sliding catch from Shrubsole mid-off as Verma can’t control herself any longer and goes for the big hit. What a shame, but what a debut. Shafali Verma, superstar in the making.

48th over: India 163-0 (Mandhana 66, Verma 92) Heather Knight looks at her arsenal and decides that she might be the answer. She loops it up, and Mandhana plays and misses first ball. Captain’s intuition.

So India produce all this talent without even trying!

Your regular reminder that India are producing talent like Shafali Verma WITHOUT a national U16 tournament. Just U19 and U23.

We were just discussing this on @TMS. @AlexHartley93 has told us that, England have women's age groups at U11s, U13s, U15, U17, and U19. #EqualHue

— Snehal Pradhan #MaskUp (@SnehalPradhan) June 17, 2021

47th over: India 163-0 (Mandhana 66, Verma 92) Mandhana pulls Cross her from outside off stump and sends the ball spinning to the boundary. Verma takes a look, thinks it looks good, and decides to bang Cross back over her head. Brunt follows in an attempt to make the catch, but can’t, and ends up diving over the boundary boards in solidarity. Verma enters the 90s.

46th over: India 154-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 88) Verma eyes up Ecclestone and swings to the onside, legs golfer-style, for six. The hundred clearly in sight now!

Tom! Andrew Benton has some excellent suggestions for you after play.

“Pootle to Victoria Square in Clifton to see where W.G. Grace lived (there’s a plaque on the house wall),and have a cuppa in a cafe on the Clifton side of the squareGo to Mbargo club (if its still there) in the triangle at the top of Park Street to see where Ben Stokes got into a bit of bother a few years ago.Drop down by the harbourside which is quite extensive and there are many eateries and drinkeries. Visit the toppled Colston statue in M Shed whilst you’re down there, and see the empty plinth nearby in The Centre.
But that’s quite a lot to do in a couple of hours after a day’s play!”

45th over: India 146-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 80) Cross continues on a sunlit west country late afternoon, her nine overs have cost just 17 and have been probing. But Mandhana angles her bat at every problem, looking like a china doll but playing like a dream.

Stat attack: Mandhana and Verma now hold the record for India’s highest opening partnership in Test cricket. The previous record was 132 runs between Anju Jain (59) and Chanderkanta Kaul (66) against England in 1999.

44th over: India 146-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 80)Shafali Verma celebrates the approach of drinks by biffing a rogue Ecclestone full toss for four over mid-on. They pause for refreshment, the first half of the last session has been all India.

“Hi Tanya.” Hi Alan Moore!

“Regarding the 25% capacity limit you mentioned in the OBO... I’m sitting in the Mount Stand at the Bristol county ground as we speak. This corner of the ground is maybe at 10% capacity. There are 4 other stands sitting totally empty, so I’d say we’re below 5% capacity overall. I would be amazed if this was “sold out”, even at 25%
“The atmosphere is really suffering as a result we can hear the England fielders and very little else. I’m all for the snack of leather on willow but would have been great to get a few more punters in the door.”

Oh, thats’ a shame, for you and the players. Was it well marketed? If there is anyone out there who fancies going tomorrow, sounds as if there might be tickets available.

43rd over: India 142-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 76) Ah, that was lovely by Verma, just gorgeous. Cross pitches a little wide and Verma lets the ball onto the bat and, like artisan Butcher cutting ham, slices it down to the boundary for four.


42nd over: India 137-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 71) Left-hander Mandhana forced onto the defensive by Ecclestone as clouds gather over the Bristol flats.

41st over: India 136-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 70) Cross, who did nothing wrong in her first spell, is on the money straight away with the first over of her second. The pitch is showing its hand here.

40th over: India 133-0 (Mandhana 61, Verma 67) Mandhana, who must waft around her apartment in silky pyjamas, pulls Ecclestone just short of Shrubsole at square leg, for four.

This is the first century opening partnership in women’s Tests since 2004!

39th over: India 128-0 (Mandhana 57, Verma 66) A couple of singles as Shrubsole plugs away.

Tom Wein asks, “Thank you for the coverage. Have the good people of the OBO got any recommendations for a first time visitor to Bristol tomorrow? After a day of cricket, what should a footloose fan do with his time?”

I haven’t been for ages, but it is lovely around Clifton. One of my brothers got engaged on the suspension bridge!

38th over: India 124-0 (Mandhana 56, Verma 63) Verma does a bit of gardening, then forces Ecclestone down to long-off and they go through for a quick single. Ecclestone lets another through her fingers and India pick up another run. This opening partnership is resting heavy on England at the moment. Their body language says, fed-up.

37th over: India 124-0 (Mandhana 56, Verma 63) Shrubsole turns again. Being a fast bowler is a tough old life. The Indian side watch from the boundary rope, they look very jolly. One from the over.

36th over: India 123-0 (Mandhana 56, Verma 62) Mandhana latches on first ball, pawing her round the corner for four. Ecclestone is not pleased, five dots follow. Mandhana, immaculate even in defence.

35th over: India 119-0 (Mandhana 52, Verma 62) Is Shrubsole the answer? We will see. Four dots then a DROP! At cover, Dunkley puts down a tricky chance as Mandhana drives firmly.at a full toss. Shrubsole takes her cap with a disgruntled air.

34th over: India 118-0 (Mandhana 51, Verma 62) Sorry briefly plagued by some technical difficulties (locating the remote). Four from the last ball of Ecclestone over as Verma edges her through the slips for four.

33rd over: India 114-0 (Mandhana 51, Verma 58)

32nd over: India 108-0 (Mandhana 51, Verma 56) Just the one off Ecclestone’s over.

A Test half-century in what is effectively her first-class debut is pretty impressive from Shafali Verma. Her defending is certainly a revelation #IndvEng

— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) June 17, 2021


Fifty for Mandhana

31st over: India 108-0 (Mandhana 51, Verma 56) Two fours from Brunt’s over, one through midwicket, the other a pull to fine leg to bring up her fifty. It’s been gorgeous - and without the agricultural route that Verma has occasionally chosen.

It’s Mandhana’s second Test fifty in three matches.

India’s Smriti Mandhana celebrates reaching her half century.
India’s Smriti Mandhana celebrates reaching her half century. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Action Images/Reuters


30th over: India 103-0 (Mandhana 43, Verma 55) Just one off Ecclestone’s over. I’d love to have heard Jonathan Agnew commentating on this Test - I know the timing isn’t great with the World Test Championship starting tomorrow. Perhaps just the opening session of the first day - it would have been a statement. A good statement.(Not that the current radio team aren’t good - they are, they’re fab)


29th over: India 102-0 (Mandhana 43, Verma 54) Verma having a bit of an ugly period here, with cross-batted shovels. India bring up the hundred.

I think Verma will tot up another stat or 500 during her career.

Youngest player to score a women's Test fifty:

14y 166d Johmari Logtenberg (SA) v ENG, 2003
16y 41d Sajjida Shah (PAK) v WI, 2004
17y 37d Rajani Venugopal (IND) v ENG, 1986
17y 140d Shafali Verma (IND) v ENG, today 👈
18y 3d Lydia Greenway (ENG) v SA, 2003#ENGvIND

— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) June 17, 2021


Fifty for Verma!

28th over: India 98-0 (Mandhana 41, Verma 52) And with hoik over midwicket, Verma reaches fifty in her first Test innings. She is very modest in her celebration, but this is an innings of seriousness, a bit of luck and a lot of intent. Verma and Dunkley in one day - wonderful! Ecclestone has a shout for lbw last ball but umpire Sue Redfern is adamant in her no and England don’t dare ask for a review.


27th over: India 94-0 (Mandhana 41, Verma 48) The steaming Brunt does not put the fear of god into Verma. She has a full-on slog for a couple, then she and Mandhana rotate the strike. A fine last ball beats Mandhana’s bat.


26th over: India 87-0 (Mandhana 40, Verma 44) Ooooh! Mandhana goes back and presses at Ecclestone and the ball flies just to the right of Tammy Beaumont under the helmet at short leg. In between, Mandhana unleashes three fours.

25th over: India 77-0 (Mandhana 28, Verma 44) Holy smoke! Verma first sends Brunt back over her head for four, then delicately late cuts for another, then loses all discipline and has a complete slog, misses and could have been stumped. It goes for four byes. She offers a grin and Mandhana smiles and shakes her head. Verma has a cross-battted hoick at the next and much to Mandhana’s relief, ends up at the other end. Just the 14 runs from the over.


24th over: India 63-0 (Mandhana 27, Verma 35) Cross starts the post-tea session with a neat maiden. Can Verma reign in her attacking instinct if England turn the screw?

Really interesting, informed, chat from Adam Collins, Charlotte Edwards and Mel Jones at tea but I did laugh when they talked about Verma’s age. It’s a real commentator’s tick, they can never say someone is 17, or 17 years old. They are always 17 (or whatever) years of age. Same with Test match cricket. Never in Tests or Test cricket.

The umpires are walking out, and the players follow. A crucial session ahead.

“Eh? The virus doesn’t distinguish between tests and T20s! “ writes Allan Friswell. “And there’s simply no reason for no spectators except fear of Chris Whitty or Matt Hancock telling them off.”Allan Friswell

Ah, sorry, I meant test as in “test event” not “Test Match.” I think for non governmental “test events” you are only allowed: up to 10,000 spectators, but no more than 25% of capacity for stadiums.


23rd over: India 63-0 (Mandhana 27, Verma 35) Ecclestone squeezes in one more over before the tea break, just time for Verma to fizz an outside edge across the boundary rope. Well played India! They’ll be pleased with that session. Time for a quick drink, back shortly.

22nd over: India 59-0 (Mandhana 27, Verma 31) Mandhana plays a frisky shot to Cross, perhaps with tea on the mind, but it still fizzes past third man for four. Interesting, on comms them mention that in the absence of saliva on the ball, the players look for the sweatiest player for moisture.

21st over: India 55-0 (Mandhana 23, Verma 31) The run of 17 dot balls comes to an end, when Verma, back and across biffs Ecclestone over extra cover for a juicy boundary.

Andrew Benton picks a bone with our geography. “I agree that Somerset CC should be blamed, but its perhaps a bit unfair on them as it’s Gloucestershire’s ground, here in Bristol!” ARGHGHGH apologies. “Unless some shenanigans are afoot.... Rain was forecast for today, which may reduce attendance.

“And it is gloooooomy - on my daily walk earlier I noted from afar the floodlights beaming away. And as Gloucestershire resident Prince Charles might put it, these floodlights really are four monstrous carbuncles on the face of a much loved friend (the view across the urban valley). How did Gloucs get them past the planners? Ughh!”

20th over: India 51-0 (Mandhana 23, Verma 27) Cross has the air of one those girls at school who was brilliant at every sport, but also a nice person. Her run-up is jaunty effort and Mandhana is respectful. England building the pressure here.

While judging the intricacies of technique isn’t my strongest point, I give you someone who knows what he’s talking about. A bowler’s eye. Madhana and Verma score highly.

I tell you what, these two Indian Women openers are technically outstanding.

— mike selvey (@selvecricket) June 17, 2021

19th over: India 51-0 (Mandhana 23, Verma 27) We have spin. Ecclestone, long, long blond ponytail, a short-sleeved jumper and in her trademark sunglasses, wheels in. She tosses it up, begging Verma to have a go, but she resolutely defends. A maiden.

18th over: India 51-0 (Mandhana 23, Verma 27) A DrOP! Mandhana, on 23, drives the ball back to Cross who can’t quite get a grip low down in her follow-through. To rub salt into the wound, Mandhana had already driven her with top-notch gorgeousness through the covers to the boundary, garlanded with roses and doves.

17th over: India 47-0 (Mandhana 19, Verma 27) Sciver and Cross are posing more danger so far than Shrubsole and Brunt. Sciver beats Mandhana with a beauty that hits Amy Jones’ pads, then tries to temp Verma with a bouncer. She thinks about it but, at the last minute ,sways leeward.

16th over: India 46-0 (Mandhana 18, Verma 27) Cross is accurate here and Verma admirably restrained for a player who loves a pop. And is only 17. A maiden!

An email wings in from Allan Friswell. “All those empty seats going begging. Given that Covid has always been known to be far less virulent and infective outdoors, and with around 80% of the population having had at least one jab, to leave this sort of spectator-safe space available is criminal. If they can put an audience in the Crucible and at Roland Garros (in a country where the vaccination % is far lower than here) they could have done it here. And I’d have travelled from Skipton down to Bristol to see this match in its entirety. Women’s test matches are so rare as to make travelling a good distance to them worthwhile. Shame on the ECB or Somerset CC. Or both. And if they now decide to put spectators in for the T20s, too late, I’ll not travel for that format.”

To be fair, I think this goes further than ECB and Somerset, though I’m not fully on top of my Covid protocol. Much depends on whether something is a Test Event or not.

15th over: India 46-0 (Mandhana 18, Verma 27) England have successfully slowed the run-rate for the last few overs. Steady from Sciver.

14th over: India 42-0 (Mandhana 16, Verma 26) Time for Kate Cross, who, hair tied in tight bun, scampers in. Keeps it tight, but no real threat, at least that over.

More fab facts from hypocaust. I read something earlier today about when John Harmer took over the women’s Australian side in the 90s and told them, “This is so boring, sitting here, watching you lot play. You’re scoring at 1.5 an over. That’s not cricket. Make runs, take wickets, make the play and do it with a smile on your face.’” It’s been a transformation since then.

This is the first time that four sixes have been hit in a women's Test match.#ENGvIND

— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) June 17, 2021

13th over: India 41-0 (Mandhana 15, Verma 26) Verma rests one hand on her hip, her bat on her shoulder, as she waits for Sciver to reach the start of her run. She watches for a few balls then casually lofts her over the off side for SIX! A couple more through the covers with a handsome punch, and I think we can say she’s got her eye in.

12th over: India 33-0 (Mandhana 15, Verma 18) Brunt carefully rubs the ball before throwing it to Shurbsole, who has a glint in her eye. Madhaha swivel-pulls past the mid-wicket fielder for four. She cuts a slight figure, but her timing is exquisite.

Highest score for England women on Test debut:

117 Lesley Cooke v IND, Wetherby, 1986
113 Enid Bakewell v AUS, Adelaide, 1968
74* Sophia Dunkely v IND, Bristol, 2021 👈#ENGvIND https://t.co/NFXV64oUSv

— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) June 17, 2021

11th over: India 29-0 (Mandhana 11, Verma 18) A bowling change as Knight whistles up for Sciver. Madhana leans into her back foot and sends an easy ball ball sailing through the covers. Lovely stuff.

In other news, India name their XI for the Test Championship Final that starts tomorrow: Rohit, Gill, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Pant, Jadeja, Ashwin, Shami, Ishant, Bumrah


10th over: India 23-0 (Mandhana 6, Verma 17) It’s Shrubsole from the other end, ruddy of cheek, sturdy of build, full-steam-ahead of run-up. Mandhana is watchful, as she should be. A thoroughly effective maiden.

9th over: India 23-0 (Mandhana 6, Verma 17) Thanks Daniel! Well this is intriguing, I’m so excited about seeing Verma bat and in one over she illustrates why. A beautiful late cut between the slips, which irritates Brunt so much that she boings a short one into the pitch which Verma hoofed square. Then a steady defensive shot, albeit very leg side of the stumps.

8th over: India 16-0 (Mandhana 5, Verma 11) We see a graphic of interception points, and Verma’s getting a good way down the track – as I said, she knows what she’s doing. Mandhana does too, but her next run comes via inside edge attempting a cover drive, and when she tries another Ecclestone dives to stop. So Shrubsole tries a fuller one and Verma picks it well, leaning on it to glide four through cover. This is now a good start for India and that’s drinks, which means it’s also time for Tanya Aldred to take over. Thanks for your company, and enjoy what should be a great rest of day.

India’s Shafali Verma ducks a bouncer off the bowling of England’s Anya Shrubsole.
India’s Shafali Verma ducks a bouncer off the bowling of England’s Anya Shrubsole. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Action Images/Reuters


7th over: India 11-0 (Mandhana 4, Verma 7) Mandhana waves the bat without much clue what might happen next, the ball looping from outside off onto the on side, but well away from prying hands. So after defending one, she steps leg side and lofts over the top to wide long on – that’s a good shot, and they run two. So Brunt tries a slower ball then a bumper, finding very little bounce, and both yield dots.

6th over: India 8-0 (Mandhana 3, Verma 5) England haven’t beaten the bat as often as they’d like, which tells you a little about the pitch – it’s a bit slow – and a little about the batters – they know what they’re doing. Anyhow, Mandhana flicks a single to fine leg then plays a couple of false shots, edging a couple, but away from hands. England will have anticipated a breakthrough by now, and this is an absorbing contest.

5th over: India 7-0 (Mandhana 2, Verma 5) Mandhana pulls for one, the only run off the over, and will know that she just needs to see this out. The standard of bowling won’t get much worse, but the ball will get softer.

4th over: India 6-0 (Mandhana 1, Verma 5) Shrubsole finds some tail, a succession of inswingers followed by an outswinger, only for Verma to edge behind for four. She’ll not mind that too much but will be wanting that breakthrough; as it goes, the batters are doing a pretty good job of staying compact and in line.

3rd over: India 2-0 (Mandhana 1, Verma 1) Mandhana steps away from a full one and yanks it over square leg for one; Brunt slips and ends up on the ground. Verma then gets off the mark, feathering to fine leg, and Brunt is building up a head of steam here.

2nd over: India 0-0 (Mandhana 0, Verma 0) Shrubsole takes the new sphere from the other end and finds a decent amount of swing, Verma looking to turn her fifth ball away on the leg side, missing, and wearing it on the pad. There’s a small appeal but it was going down, and that’s an excellent start from England.

1st over: India 0-0 (Mandhana 0, Verma 0) After much debate, it’s Mandhana and Verma who open, the former playing her third Test and the latter her first. And Brunt is on the money right away, giving no width at all as Mandhana plays out a maiden.

Katherine Brunt has the ball...


Righto, the players are back with us...

That’s a very acceptable performance from England, who started well then found a second wind just when things looked in the balance. If the weather allows it, you’d expect 396 to be a winning total or most of one, but India have enough talent to make it look like I’m talking nonsense.

England declare at 396-9, their sixth-highest Test score!

Dunkley doesn’t get her ton but does get a red-inker, 74 not out. What a day!


WICKET! Shrubsole b Rana 47 (England 396-9)

A superb innings comes to an end when Shrubsole tries to hoik around the corner, only to play against her pad and onto the stumps.


122nd over: England 396-8 (Dunkley 74, Shrubsole 47) India are getting served here, and Shrubsole dances down the track, moving towards leg so she can loft Rana over the top for a one-bounce four! She’s seeing it so clearly and swinging so crisply, taking the game away from India.

121st over: England 392-8 (Dunkley 74, Shrubsole 43) Shrubsole’s enjoying this, and she makes room to haul Pandey from outside off to the midwicket fence for four, then cuts to deep point for two, this time, Vastrakar does well to cut it off, but did her boot touch the rope? I think it probably did but India get away with a two ... but not for long. Shrubsole clumps a yorker down the ground for one, then Dunkley flicks hard to deep square for four! That’s a terrific shot, though the line - on the pads – was friendly. I don’t think England will be out there much longer, but will they let Dunkley have a dart at a maiden ton?

120th over: England 379-8 (Dunkley 69, Shrubsole 35) Rana will bowl from the other end and Dunkley cross-bats her first ball to long off, allowing Shrubsole to swipe her second, tossed up and wide, through cover. Shrubsole is not playing here, twinkling down to hammer what becomes a half-volley for four more, again through cover, then hoiks to deep square, Vastrakar running in ... and she spills it! India’s fielding has been absolutely abject and they’re punished when the next delivery is carted over wide long on for six! A single follows, making is 18 from the over.

119th over: England 361-8 (Dunkley 68, Shrubsole 18) She almost makes the perfect start, Shrubsole edging her loosner ... which drops well short of one. Next ball, Shrubsole skips down – this looks like a change in focus from England – but misses, then comes down again to turn a single to deep backward square. Then, after a single, Dunkley comes down and lifts what should be a dolly to mid off, except Mithali thinks she gets more on it than she does, moving finer when she needed to come forward. I don’t know, maybe she didn’t pick it up, but either way that’s an escape and they run one, then add two more singles from the remaining two deliveries.

Pandey has the ball. She’ll be hoping to bowl better than she did first up this morning.

Back come the players...

Sky grabbed a coupe of minutes with Dunkley as she walked off. She said she stuck to her gameplan – to be positive is all the detail we got – and the moment she raised her fifty was “all a bit of a blur”. I daresay she’ll watch it back sometime this evening, but in the meantime there’s a ton to get and she reckons England will “just keep batting” then see where they are.

118th over: England 357-8 (Dunkley 66, Shrubsole 16) That said, I doubt India can be doing with two more and take long enough moving round so that this next one, from Goswami, will be the last. Like Ecclestone, Shrubsole is really enjoying herself in the middle, and I’m sure Knight will be delighted with how her tail has wagged; she eases the first ball of the over to backward point and they run one, then after jabbing out a yorker, Dunkley moves out the way of another full one and gets almost square on to drive four down the ground, lifting her back leg with a lovely flourish. That’s the morning, and if we weren’t sure who was on top this morning, we absolutely know now. Well batted England, well batted Sophie Dunkley, and join me again in about 35 minutes for the afternoon session.

England’s Sophia Dunkley and Anya Shrubsole at the crease.
England’s Sophia Dunkley and Anya Shrubsole at the crease. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Action Images/Reuters


117th over: England 352-8 (Dunkley 62, Shrubsole 15) Vastrakar continues and when she tries a short one that’s nowhere near quick enough, Shrubsole comes down and yanks it from outside off to the midwicket fence for four. That takes England to 351, their highest-ever score against India, and by the looks of things it’ll be Heather Knight who decided where the mark ends up because wickets do not look imminent. A single follows, and we might sneak in two more overs before lunch.

116th over: England 347-8 (Dunkley 62, Shrubsole 10) Harmanpreet’ll have a tweak before lunch and Shrubsole confidently plays her loosener to cover for one; four more singles follow, then Dunkley presses forward and steps back to one that’s slightly overpitched, cracking four through extra cover. She’ll probably need to be quick about it, but there’s a debut ton in the offing here.

115th over: England 338-8 (Dunkley 56, Shrubsole 7) We cut to see Tammy Beaumont’s parents in the crowd, her mum knitting away; what a buzz that must be, chilling like it’s normal while your daughter plays Test cricket for England. Meanwhile, Vastrakar comes into the attack, and I’m not sure why she’s been left stretching for so long – as Ebony notes and as we discussed earlier, quicks from one end, spinners from the other seemed to make most sense. Shrubsole is standing out of her crease here, so she can’t be too fussed about the pace, and after three dots she opens the face to ianbell four to third man – that’s nicely done, and a single to deep cover follows.

114th over: England 333-8 (Dunkley 56, Shrubsole 2) Shrubsole plays down into the off side and they leg it through for a quick single, the only run from the over. But Dunkley misses a sweep played to its final delivery – there’s a strangulated appeal, but there was bat or glove in there first.

Always pressure when you're "the first". Certain expectations & responsibilities to bear, simply by doing something/getting somewhere that's been accessible to many others. Favourite thing about this Sophia Dunkley debut knock is how she just looks like she belongs here #EngvInd

— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) June 17, 2021

113th over: England 332-8 (Dunkley 56, Shrubsole 1) Rana loops a wide one that doesn’t do much, so Dunkley waits and cuts hard to deep point for four before driving to long on for one. A single apiece follows, and we see that on the England balcony, not many players are in their whites; a declaration is not imminent, though who knows whether one comes at lunch.

112th over: England 326-8 (Dunkley 51, Shrubsole 0) I’d expect Dunkley to go for it properly now, and they’ll be gratified to know that the Met Office no longer thinks there’ll be any rain in Bristol today; we’re also clear tomorrow until mid-afternoon.

WICKET! Ecclestone c Pandey b Sharma 17 (England 326-8)

Review that one! With England looking for quick runs, Ecclestone tries to hit over the top but doesn’t get enough of it, picking out Pandey at mid off. She’s disappointed walking off, but contributed well to a really important partnership.


Again, there was too much turn, and that was missing leg stump.

WICKET! Ecclestone lbw b Sharma 17 (England 326-8)

Ecclestone plays straight at one which jags in and misses, wearing it on the pad. This one looks outer than the others that’ve been reviewed today, but England go upstairs nevertheless/

111th over: England 326-7 (Dunkley 51, Ecclestone 17) Rana goes around and her first delivery is punkt on the pads, Dunkley turning it around the corner for two ... and that’s her maiden Test fifty in her maiden Test match! What a moment, and look at her mum applauding her daughter! Beautiful! Dunkley has rode her fortune well, putting false shots away as soon as she’s played them, and looks really confident and well-organised. She adds a single to backward point, then Ecclestone, who’s given her great support, nurdles one of her own to midwicket.

England’s Sophia Dunkley (left) celebrates reaching her half century with Sophie Ecclestone.
England’s Sophia Dunkley (left) celebrates reaching her half century with Sophie Ecclestone. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Action Images/Reuters


110th over: England 322-7 (Dunkley 48, Ecclestone 16) Sharma rushes through a maiden that Ecclestone plays out easily enough.

109th over: England 322-7 (Dunkley 48, Ecclestone 16) Dunkley squirts a brace to backward point, and looks pretty happy with life – as you might. She did get trapped deep in her crease there, and her off stump guard probably helped persuade the umpire she was dead. But there you go.


Yup, the turn was taking that past leg stump, though given how close Dunkley was to her stumps, I can see why the umpire gave it.

WICKET! Dunkley lbw b Rana 46 (England 320-8)

Dunkley leaps to turns this away, missing and wearing it on the pad, but I’m not sure this is hitting and England have a review left....


109th over: England 320-7 (Dunkley 46, Ecclestone 16) Yeah, Dunkley wants to get this moving, and when Rana tosses one up, she waits, then gets forward to smother the spin and clouts it through cover for four. That raises the 50 partnership, and Dunkley will fancy one for herself too...


108th over: England 316-7 (Dunkley 42, Ecclestone 16) I’m semi-surprised India haven’t gone back to pace, at least from one end, because they’re not threatening a wicket nor have they put a brake on the score. This is a better over, though, just one from it – to Dunkley via square leg.

“Eight overs short ?” returns @Mysteron_Voice. “Average run rate for the day three runs per over ? Give the batting side another 24 runs...”

As I said, I’d get behind any kind of penalty, pretty much, but we’d always need to contextualise. There’s no obvious excuse for what we’re seeing here.

107th over: England 315-7 (Dunkley 41, Ecclestone 16) Dunkley will be scenting a score now, and turns Rana through midfield for another single – she’s milking nicely now – then Ecclestone does similar, but with a little less finesse, and Dunkley then hammers straight to Mithali at mid off, takes her on anyway, and scrambles one. Even with a direct hit, she’d probably have made it – that’s excellent from her.

Email! “There is one solution/penalty that will sharpen a few minds re poor over rates,” says Jack Harris (alright cuz, how’s yer mam?). If you are, for example, eight overs short at the end of the day, the fielding team has to start the next day with one fewer fielder for said amount, i.e. eight overs. Simple to put into action. Obvious to everyone. Punishes the team responsible. Too easy I guess?”

I’d be happy with that, as I’d be happy with any solution. I guess the problem is what happens when there are extenuating circumstances, so I’m not sure any kid of blanket law would work – we’d need to give the umpires some discretion.

106th over: England 312-7 (Dunkley 39, Ecclestone 15) Sharma offers Dunkley a short, wide one, and she doesn’t miss out, absolutely crunching it to the point fence. A single follows, and that’s drinks and the end of a great first hour for the hosts.


105th over: England 307-7 (Dunkley 34, Ecclestone 15) This is developing into a really good morning for England, who will surely want to stamp on the gas in order to get into the field.



High and wide, as it looked with the naked eye. That was not a good review.

105th over: England 307-7 (Dunkley 34, Ecclestone 15) India aren’t really threatening now, and England take three singles before Rana catches Ecclestone on the pad. They appeal – it looks high to me and maybe going down – and the umpire says no, but India review!


104th over: England 304-7 (Dunkley 32, Ecclestone 14) Apart from during that first over from Rana, Dunkley has looked in pretty decent control, and she gets down on one knee to flip Sharma over her shoulder for two – that’s very nicely done. A single to square leg follows, while in commentary, Ebony Rainford-Brent reckons we need a shot clock to make sure we get out overs in. Anyway, Ecclestone then imparts a leading edge to one given some air and finds it as amusing as the bowlers find it unamusing.


103rd over: England 301-7 (Dunkley 29, Ecclestone 14) The batters share a laugh and a safe between overs – they’re enjoying this and why wouldn’t they be? After three dots, Ecclestone forces one to mid on which brings up England’s 300 – I imagine Heather Knight will be pleased by how quickly they’ve got there, and for the loss of just one wicket. Dunkley then takes a single of her own, and India are struggling to sustain pressure.

102nd over: England 299-7 (Dunkley 28, Ecclestone 13) I wonder how long England will stay out there before they start whacking – they’ll fancy bowling in these conditions and know they need to take 20 wickets. Meantime, though, they’re just batting, and Dunkley flicks a single past short leg then, after four dots, Ecclestone forces one more down to long on.

101st over: England 297-7 (Dunkley 27, Ecclestone 12) Ecclestone looks really confident out there and she steps away nicely to send Rana’s first delivery to the cover fence; they run two, the only ones from the over.

100th over: England 295-7 (Dunkley 27, Ecclestone 10) Can Sharma maintain pressure? Ecclestone plays her first three balls pretty well, taking one to midwicket with the help of a misfield, then Dunkley whacks hard ... but straight to Sharma ... and she spills it! We don’t have a good camera on exactly what happened, but though it was a handwringer, there’s no excuse for not taking that. I daresay she’ll not be talking to herself for the next bit.

99th over: England 294-7 (Dunkley 27, Ecclestone 9) Dunkley eases a short one to deep square for two, then Rana rags one that dips and beats the batter all ends up, dashing through the game and somehow missing both edge and stumps. The final ball is a beauty too, jagging in again, and Dunkley tries a cut and does well not to play on. That was the best over of the day by far, and this could be a terrific battle because Dunkley won’t just let her bowl.

“Commentary team discussing the umpires possibly being frustrated by the amount of time taken between overs by the Indian captain,” tweets @Mysteron_Voice. “Is it not within their remit to tell the fielding team to just get on with it?” They can, but what if they don’t listen?

98th over: England 292-7 (Dunkley 25, Ecclestone 9) It’s spin from both ends now, with Sharma replacing Goswami, and that makes sense. Though conditions are helpful for the quicks, it was the spinners who did the damage and a hard, shiny ball won’t do them any harm. Anyhow, Sharma opts for two short legs and watches Ecclestone add to to extra, then she sends one of them to silly point and can’t quite reach the leading edge imparted to her final delivery.

97th over: England 290-7 (Dunkley 25, Ecclestone 7) Change of bowling, Rana coming on for Pandey who’s not been quite at it this morning. With a silly point and a short leg, her first delivery loops and turns nicely, before Dunkley turns down to fine leg for a brace before sweeping to deep square for one. Ecclestone then takes one of her own to mid off and this is intense stuff.

96th over: England 286-7 (Dunkley 22, Ecclestone 6) I wonder if Dunkley will try and build an innings while Ecclestone looks to whack it ... yeah, maybe not. She looks to drive Goswami down the ground but picks out mid off, then when one angles into her pads – too full too – she flicks uppishly but hard and adds four through the vacant midwicket. Nor is that all: right after India move third slip to midwicket, she twinkletoes down and across then relaxes the wrists to guide four more through the newly-vacant area. That’s beautifully done, and a single to mid off follows; that’s 16 off the last two overs and England are starting to move again.

95th over: England 277-7 (Dunkley 13, Ecclestone 6) Sophie Ecclestone is only playing her third Test but she’s yet to be dismissed and loves her batting. And after Dunkley cuts to point for one, she dabs down to the point fence and they run two – that’s a nice shot, and after two dots , the second of which beats her outside off when she tentatively swipes, she bends her front knee to clout a half-volley through extra cover for four. She doesn’t wait to be asked.

WICKET! Brunt lbw b Goswami 8 (England 270-7)

I guess the umpire thought that was bat first because this plumb! Brunt doesn’t get far enough forward so when the ball shapes in she’s caught on the crease and that’s hitting middle about three-quarters of the way up. Excellent delivery, excellent review.

England’s Katherine Brunt walks off dejected after losing her wicket for LBW off the bowling of India’s Deepti Sharma.
England’s Katherine Brunt walks off dejected after losing her wicket for LBW off the bowling of India’s Deepti Sharma. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Action Images/Reuters


94th over: England 270-6 (Dunkley 12, Brunt 8) Goswami takes the ball at the other end and gets underway with a jaffa that deviates off the seam and leaves Brunt, who plays and misses. Four dots follow, then Goswami sends down a length ball that slides in, raps the pad, and there’s an appeal ... not out says the umpire ... but India review!


93rd over: England 270-6 (Dunkley 12, Brunt 8) Width to begin with so Brunt cuts to deep point and they amble a single. India will be delighted they didn’t take the new ball when it was due because they’ve now got the conditions to exploit it, but Dunkley looks comfortable against it, defending and leaving positively. She actually shows the face to Pandey’s fifth ball and Pandey fields then shies, but she’s well back. Still, a nice show of aggression, and when Dunkley thrashes the final delivery, she extends an arm but can’t quite find it.


Pandey will get us going...

The floodlights are blazing away – it’s pretty grimy out there.

Here come the players!

It’s a lot cooler than yesterday, says Charlie Dagnall. I’m envious, because London is still hot but without any sun. “Minging” is, I believe the technical term.

Knight’s pretty happy with how yesterday went and feels the game is nicely set up for England, praising a “really nice platform”. She says the team have talked a lot about getting their mentality right and that she thinks conditions will help swing bowlers today.

It doesn’t look pleasant out there – grey, windy, classic – but if Bristol’s anything like London, it’s unpleasantly close. That’s good news for India’s bowlers, especially given a ball that’s still new.


Strike that, reverse it. Looking good, looking good, as junglists were fond of saying in mid-90s.

met office

Sky’s team are gathered under an awning, which is not a great sign. But on the plus side, they enjoyed yesterday’s play as much as the rest of us.

Tomorrow, the men’s world Test championship final starts, and of course we’ll be bringing you that. In the meantime, here’s Andy Bull on the differences between England and the two finalists.

When we do get out there, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sophia Dunkley goes. Obviously her presence is a beautiful thing, but beyond that, she’s in the team because, as Heather Knight noted, sheer weight of runs made it impossible for them to leave her out. If she has a good morning – or afternoon – the tenor of this match will change very quickly.

Weather update:

Day two. It’s been raining, and probably will again, but okay now. Ahead of the resumption, here’s @GeoffLemonSport and my wrap from stumps last night - good fun talking about women’s Test cricket again. #ENGvIND

Pod: https://t.co/TBMSkdNLyj

YouTube: https://t.co/mQAR1OTx4l pic.twitter.com/Sm8wYdNzqf

— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) June 17, 2021

While u wait:

Half-centuries for Beaumont and Knight 👏

An Indian fightback 😬

A debut for Dunks 🧢

Day one highlights 👇 pic.twitter.com/EOWc25Xi6h

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 17, 2021

Potentially bad news: according to the Met Office, this is the prognosis. We might be struggling for play before lunch (and at all tomorrow). Absolute nonsense.

Met Office


It’s good to be back. But there’s back and there’s back, and yesterday was absolutely back.

England hadn’t played a Test in almost a year; India hadn’t played one in almost seven years; but at the close of play yesterday, both sides could be relatively happy with their day’s work just the same as those of us watching. England, and Heather Knight in particular, will feel they lost a dominant position in the final session, but with runs on the board, four wickets left and Sophia Dunkley at the wicket, they’re handily placed to post a total that puts them in the game – at the very least.

India, meanwhile, will feel like they’re on a roll. If they can knock England over this morning, they’ll be fewer runs in the hole than they feared, and fancy themselves to do some damage with the bat on what looks like remaining a decent track. This is set up to be another belter of a day – if the rain refrains.

Play: 11am BST



Daniel Harris (earlier) and Tanya Aldred (later)

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