The player of the match is Kate Cross!
“It was a good day,” she says. “I feel like I kind of got recognition for being boring, just bowling line and length. It’s nice to pick up a few for myself rather than just create the pressure. I’ve done some technical work when I came back from New Zealand and that has paid dividends.”
England win the one-day series 2-0, with one to play, after the two sides shared the Test series. Three T20s will complete the series later this month.
That’s it from me, thanks for the messages. Good night!
A game that was in the balance until about eight overs to go, turned to an easy win by England who pin-pointed fours when they. needed, to picked up the singles wherever they turned. Clever from Winfield-Hill but something special from Sophia Dunkley: unflustered, sensible, skilful and as at home in the baby blue of the ODI team as she was in the whites. With the ball, Kate Cross was exceptional.
India were better today, but still lacked urgency when batting. Harmanpreet Kaur, standing in for Mithali Raj in the field, enthused her fielders and the tireless Goswami was hostile and accurate.
England win by five wickets (Dunkley 73, Brunt 33) with 15 balls to spare!
Brunt smashes Sharma down the ground to win the match!
47th over: England 218-5 (Dunkley 68, Brunt 28) They’re getting ‘em in singles (five off Rana’s over. And oh the sky - it is a multi-coloured glory.
46th over: England 213-5 (Dunkley 67, Brunt 27) Dunkley pulls a short one from Goswami hard, past the desperate mid-wicket fielder for four. Smash n grab. A nudge from Dunkley, a thump from Brunt and only nine more are needed for the win.
45th over: England 206-5 (Dunkley 61, Brunt 26) Tippy-tappy, on England go. The spires of Taunton glowings softly as the sun drop.
“Sophia Dunkley,” types Ramaswamy. “The number of times she has a single off the last ball of an over - simply remarkable.” So true. And there she goes again! Helped by a slight misfield at mid-off.
44th over: England 203-5 (Dunkley 59, Brunt 25) And it is Goswami again, top arm reaching up to scratch the stars as she bowls. Brunt keeps out a brilliant yorker, chopping the ball into her boot. That’s her ninth over gone and, great though it was, England still pick up five. The target falls into the teens.
43rd over: England 198-5 (Dunkley 56, Brunt 23) It’s Brunt’s turn to reach the rope, and she does, sending Sharma past point with an agricultural paddle. This is slipping away from India.
Fifty for Sophia Dunkley!
42nd over: England 191-5 (Dunkley 54, Brunt 18) Dunkley goes to a classy fifty with a slightly wayward cut through backward point for four and punches the air, for her second debut fifty in the month!, following her 70-odd on Test debut. Off just 63 balls. On the balcony, England applaud. and Heather Knight looks very relaxed.
41st over: England 184-5 (Dunkley 48, Brunt 17) Brunt biffs Sharma to midwicket and that’s the fifty stand for the sixth wicket. Clever and timely. The sun is bathing everyone in a photogenic golden glow.
40th over: England 181-5 (Dunkley 47, Brunt 16) Goswami’s penultimate ball thuds into Dunkley’s front pad. India review - and why not - but it turns out there was an inside edge. England’s progress is sweet at the moment, with just 41 needed from the last ten.
39th over: England 177-5 (Dunkley 44, Brunt 15) A misfield at extra-cover brings Dunkley a four off Rana’s first ball. And that’s enough, though they pick up three quick singles as well for the put. India need Goswami, and here she comes.
A message into my barren tweets!
Yes I think her size is all part of the guile! Apparently, England prepared to face her by getting people to bowl on their knees. (I think I heard thar right anyway!)
38th over: England 171-5 (Dunkley 37, Brunt 13) Yadav whirls through her action for the last time today. Brunt tries to loft herwestward, but misses. Yadav completes her spell, 2-63. And England step on.
37th over: England 168-5 (Dunkley 37, Brunt 13) Rana careful. No boundaries but the three singles are easily picked off with a pit and a pat. The light is glorious late June.
36th over: England 165-5 (Dunkley 35, Brunt 12) Yadav again, Brunt toe-ends a four to long-on. They pick off four more singles. India need a wicket.
35th over: England 157-5 (Dunkley 33, Brunt 6) Brunt stares through the bars of her helmet. She’s restricted for the first two balls, but turns the third off her legs. A couple more singles follow. Softly, softly catchee monkey. England need 65 in 15 overs.
34th over: England 154-5 (Dunkley 32, Brunt 4) Dunkley drives Pandey to point, but some fierce fielding cuts off the run. India want this. I’ve made the mistake of trying to eat a burrito while doing this and have succeeded only in destroying my dinner. Oh, that’s brilliant from Dunkley who is light on her feet and billows Pandey over long on for six.
33rd over: England 148-5 (Dunkley 26, Brunt 4) Just a couple from Deepti Sharma’s over.
32nd over: England 146-5 (Dunkley 25, Brunt 3) What a test for Dunkley! Sun slipping down the sky, the elongated Goswami in the grove, her hair copper in the sun. Dunkley drives for a single. Then cuts Goswami’s last ball and Radha leaps at point but succeeds only in pushing the ball up and to the ground. Cruelly, a drop.
31st over: England 141-5 (Dunkley 22, Brunt 1) We see Brunt in earnest conversation with Dunkley before the over: how to play Yadav. She is beaten, immediately. Dunkley chips, dangerously, for four.
30th over: England 135-5 (Dunkley 17, Brunt 0) Goswami is back and immediately, superbly, accurate, moving the ball in. A test and a half for Dunkley. She survives.
29th over: England 133-5 (Dunkley 16, Brunt 0) At a pedestrian 35-38mph, Yadav is asking to be pinged. But perhaps that’s the secret! A huge swipe across the line by Jones gives India a very tasty wicket. Game on!
WICKET! Jones c sub (R Yadav) b P Yadav 28 (England 133-4)
An amusing catch that almost ends up being spilled by a complete lack of communication between the sub fielder and the others who charge towards her at point. Poonam Yadav is so not amused that she tells everyone off before remembering that she has got a wicket.
28th over: England 131-4 (Dunkley 15, Jones 27) Dunkley leans onto her right foot and cuts a wide one from Sharma and it flies to the boundary. Nicely done. And the target falls below a hundred.
27th over: England 122-4 (Dunkley 8, Jones 25) Slap! Jones thwacks the ball just wide of long on where the fielder fumbles and ball meets rope. A fielding accuracy blooper the ball before meant that a close run-out didn’t happen. A lack of sharpness in a close looking match like this could be crucial.
26th over: England 114-4 (Dunkley 6, Jones 19) England have been able to ride this middle-over wickets fairly easily - with Jones picking up where Sciver and Winfield-Hill had left off. England need another 4 and a half an over for the rest of the innings.
25th over: England 109-4 (Dunkley 2, Jones 18) Yadav, short hair held back with one of those zig-zag plastic bands flicks the ball from hand to hand. She tosses the ball high above Jones’ eyeline and Jones slams it back over Yada’s head. And again, skipping down the pitch, then picks up two more from the sweep - nicely done. The most productive over of the innings for England with ten runs coming from it.
24th over: England 99-4 (Dunkley 2, Jones 8) Rana approaches the crease like a cat who has spotted a mouse in the near distance, careful paw by careful paw. Four runs spilled from the over.
23rd over: England 95-4 (Dunkley 1, Jones 5) Pandey loses her line, sending down a wide - which the darting Bhatia prevents from going for four byes. Dunkley picks up her first ODI runs with a tickle down to fine leg.
22nd over: England 92-4 (Dunkley 0, Jones 4) Dunkely has never batted in a one-day international before! Can she repeat the success of her Test debut? She cuts at her first ball and misses. Some tension is starting to thread through this match.
WICKET! Sciver c Bhatia b Rana 19 (England 92-4)
The catch/non-catch turned out not to be so important after all! Sciver added only six more runs before she pushes and edges the excellent Rana into the gloves of the even more excellent Bhatia, whose soft gloves gratefully accept the offering.
21st over: England 90-3 (Sciver 17, Jones 3) Can Pandey repeat the magic? Sciver and Jones opt to pick up singles - India haven’t found a way to stop them. At the same point, India were 86-3.
20th over: England 87-3 (Sciver 15, Jones 3)
19th over: England 83-3 (Sciver 12, Jones 1) A magical bowling change by Harmanpreet Kaur, that brought one, might have brought two dismissals. A fantastic effort by Harmanpreet at mid-off. She might consider herself unlucky there.
NOT OUT! OOOF Harmanpreet was sure, but the soft signal worked against her. The replay was blurry and too distant to be make a positive decision.
REVIEW! Sciver c Harmanpreet b Pandey 13....the soft signal is not out....
WICKET! Winfield-Hill c Bhatia b Pandey 41 (England 82-3)
The bowling change works! Pandey whistles down a crossed seam ball and Winfield-Hill feathers a catch straight into the gloves of Bhatia lurking up to the stumps.
18th over: England 81-2 (Sciver 12, Winfield-Hill 42) And so we go on, England darting and diving and picking up singles that will do the job. India waiting and hoping that they will feel starved of boundaries.
17th over: England 77-2 (Sciver 10, Winfield-Hill 40) Sciver is perky, pulling and cutting at Yadav. They continue to be able to pick up the singles without risk. India need a wicket before singles turn to boundaries.
16th over: England 72-2 (Sciver 8, Winfield-Hill 37) Rana’s low black ponytail falls down her back to cover her number. Sciver and Winfield-Hill milk her fairly easily for six more runs. Around the boundary the shadows lengthen.
15th over: England 66-2 (Sciver 4, Winfield-Hill 35) Yadav continuing to toss the ball up, Winfield Hill biffs it high but short of the fielder, she’s got the bit between her teeth now. She and Sciver gather six from the over. After 15 overs, India were 75-1.
It turned out Wembley had a special guest yesterday, and he wasn’t in the royal box.
14th over: England 60-2 (Sciver 2, Winfield-Hill 31) Winfield-Hill is in the mood, shifting on her feet and darting the ball through the covers and over the rope.
Joe Root promises the end of the great in and out dance:
13th over: England 54-2 (Sciver 1, Winfield-Hill 26) An over that starts with a wicket, ends with a four by Winfield-Hill, crunched through the covers with a biscuity bite.
WICKET! Knight c Goswami b Yadav 10 (England 48-2)
At mid-on Goswami gleefully takes the catch as Knight dances down to Yadav but hits with a crooked bat.
12th over: England 48-1 (Knight 10, Winfield-Hill 21) Sharma, bustling little approach, quick arm action, sunglasses. Oh, they’re showing the Quantocks - Vic Marks will be purring into his beer. Anyway, neat little paddle-sweep from Knight and they pick up one.
11th over: England 46-1 (Knight 9, Winfield-Hill 20) A double bowling change as pepper pot Poonam Yadav starts an over of her looping legbreaks. Winfield Hill watches carefully then hoops her fourth ball back over her head for SIX!
An eyewitness says:
10th over: England 37-1 (Knight 8, Winfield-Hill 12) The end of the power play, with England adequate but not on top. India were 48-0 at a similar stage. A bowling change as we see Deepti Sharma for the first time today, England pick up a couple.
For those who have asked for a scorecard, apologies. The company which provides our stats feed for some reason isn’t providing the scoreboard for this series so it’s out of our hands.
9th over: England 35-1 (Knight 7, Winfield-Hill 11) I should have said, that this match is taking place at lovely Taunton, where the sky is shell-blue and the floodlights have come on - thought it seems a little early. England can only pick a single off the excellent Goswami.
8th over: England 34-1 (Knight 6, Winfield-Hill 11) An over where Pandey’s radar is temporarily unavailable, and Winfield Hill takes advantage of an overpitched ball and pings it to the long-on boundary.
7th over: England 27-1 (Knight 5, Winfield-Hill 7) It feels like Goswami has magic in those fingers today. A big appeal for caught behind against Winfield-Hill, but the replay looks as if it has beaten everything. The Indian fielding is chirpy, lively, smart - Harmanpreet Kaur is the stand-in captain with Mithali Raj off the field with a stiff neck.
6th over: England 21-1 (Knight 4, Winfield-Hill 6) Knight gets off the mark with a flourish, sending Pandey flying through the covers. Then four byes fly past everyone.
5th over: England 16-1 (Knight 0, Winfield-Hill 5) Goswami, the lower part of her face covered with sun-cream lollops in. She oversteps, but Winfield-Hill can only chop her down to third man for a single. Bhatia is standing up to Goswami, a brave thing to do, and we wonder if that looming (if you can loom at just over five foot) figure has anything to do with Beaumont’s unease in prodding forward, leaving a gap for the ball to dart through.
WICKET! Beaumont b Goswami 10 (England 16-1)
Woof! A beautiful ball that moves away at the last minute to remove Beaumont’s off stump as she pushes forward defensively.
4th over: England 13-0 (Beaumont 9, Winfield-Hill 4) Better from Pandey, a maiden and she looks pleased with herself, very neat with her shirt tucked into her trousers and her pony tail without a stray hair.
3rd over: England 13-0 (Beaumont 9, Winfield-Hill 4) Goswami over-pitches and Beaumont says thanks very much, sending the ball swinging through the covers for a ping-pong four. Luvly-jubbly. She picks up another pair of twos with on each side of the wicket.
2nd over: England 5-0 (Beaumont 1, Winfield-Hill 4) Pandey, blue headband running low over her hair-line, Borg-like, sends one in towards Beaumont’s pads. Pandey is keen, briefly at least, but no-one else matches her enthusiasm.
1st over: England 4-0 (Beaumont 0, Winfield-Hill 4) Goswami unfolds those giraffe legs and sets off on her run, eating up acres of grass as she does. Winfield-Hill is content to leave her alone and pad her back, apart from a whip through the covers for four.
Aha, the players are out again, with the sun shining in empathy. Do email me with any thoughts as England set off against that moderate, though not intimidating, Indian target.
Thank you Tim! And nice work by Kate Cross, whose 5-34 with her wiley wobblers was the first time an England woman had taken a five-fer since Anya Shrubsole’s six wickets in the World Cup Final - which Sky are currently showing.
On comms, they seem to think India are 50 runs or so short, which means the Mithali Raj question raises its ugly head again. I’m not sure I blame her today. If she is going to play the anchor role then all around her have to get a move on. Apart from Raj (59 off 92) and Verma (44 off 55), the next highest score came from that unreliable but regular contributor, Extras (26). The tenth-wicket partnership did add a handy 29 thanks to some bat throwing by Goswami and Yadav.
India finish on 221 all out (Yadav b Ecclestone 10, Goswami 19)
The last pair scrape four more before Ecclestone’s quicker ball does the job again, off the last delivery of the innings. The star of the show was Kate Cross, who was testing throughout, maintaining her line and varying her pace to grab 5-34 off her ten overs. Ecclestone backed her up well with 3-33 off ten and Nat Sciver chipped in with one wicket, her 50th in ODIs.
England were very good, apart from that one over of pure slapstick from Brunt, and India are at least 30 short of where they should have been on a friendly surface. The killer stat from the other day – 181 dots in their 50 overs – got even worse today, with 188. Still, at least the last pair have given them some impetus and lifted them clear of the dreaded 200-odd.
That’s it from me. Thanks for your company and your correspondence, and I’ll leave you in the sparkling hands of Tanya Aldred. I’m back tomorrow morning, to see if any of the men can match Kate Cross’s excellence.
49th over: India 217-9 (Goswami 18, Yadav 7) Brunt, bowling slower-ball allsorts, secretly wants to make a game of it. She strays down the leg side, and her over goes like this: four byes, four to Goswami (swung to deep square), three wides, one leg-bye, one wide, dot (!), single to Yadav, four more to Goswami (upper cut). That’s a magnificent over, going for 18 in all, and the partnership has raced to 25 off 2.4 overs.
Good things come to those who wait, as you know, and here’s John Starbuck, answering Abhijato Sensarma’s question from the very top of the innings. “The difference in English football and cricket fans’ demeanour might be explained by their origin stories,” John reckons. “Football became popular when derived from village v village matches which were extremely rowdy and pretty much anything goes. Also, there was a development when various religious sects tried to recruit boys and young men and then played each other, providing a hint of needle, or, in Scotland, rioting. Derby conflicts last just about forever (I’m a follower of Nottingham Forest and we hate Derby, though Leicester City are tolerated) so there’s an inbuilt insult factor, much enjoyed by the working classes who form the main support.
“Cricket, on the other hand, while built from inter-village rivalry too, also thrived in the country-house set, though anyone with talent could usually succeed. This includes a fairly early county cricket set-up, which overrides the village atmosphere. That’s what we like to think about our game, notwithstanding several prejudicial affairs. If you’re hooked on cricket, it doesn’t even matter so much if your team wins or loses, providing you’ve seen or played a good game. Everyone can admire a Viv Richards, Kane Williamson, Tendulkar etc. and feel blessed having seen them.
“Other opinions are available.”
48th over: India 199-9 (Goswami 10, Yadav 6) India desperately need some urgency and the last pair do their best to provide it as Poonam Yadav cuts Ecclestone, rather stylishly, for four.
47th over: India 195-9 (Goswami 10, Yadav 2) There had just been a pause while Raj was seen by the physio, so maybe that blow to the grille was worse than it seemed at the time.
Wicket! Raj run out (Dunkley/Jones) 59 (India 193-9)
And there is the run-out! Sophia Dunkley misfielded in the deep, recovered to save a boundary, and then threw in so well that Raj was stranded six inches short of her ground. Maybe the misfield was a ploy. That’s the end of what looks like a captain’s innings on the scorecard, but wasn’t: Raj ran out of steam just when her team needed her to accelerate, though it may have been because she wasn’t feeling well.
46th over: India 190-8 (Raj 59, Goswami 7) Goswami redeems herself with a slap for four through the covers off Sciver. Seven off the over: that’s more like it, but India need double that now.
45th over: India 183-8 (Raj 58, Goswami 1) As Brunt replaces Ecclestone, the only way India could do worse is by contriving a run-out. Jhulan Goswami does her best with a risky single, but the throw is wide.
44th over: India 181-8 (Raj 57, Goswami 0) Jones is so good standing up to the seamers. And India have blown it again, losing five wickets for 36 off ten overs.
Wicket! Pandey c Jones b Sciver 2 (India 181-8)
Oh dear. Another nick behind, another good catch by Amy Jones, another blow for Mithali Raj, who just can’t take charge of the situation.
43rd over: India 179-7 (Raj 56, Pandey 1) So that’s a successful return for Ecclestone, who has been England’s second most effective bowler. She has 2-25 off eight overs.
Wicket! Bhatia c Jones b Ecclestone 2 (India 178-7)
Another one! Ecclestone spears in a quicker ball, possibly turning an inch or two, and Bhatia can only nick it into Jones’s gloves. India are now in all sorts of trouble.
40th over: India 177-6 (Raj 55, Bhatia 2) Nat Sciver returns, bearing bouncers. Tanya Bhatia, who is on the small side, can’t reach them, and she doesn’t get much sympathy from the umpire.
Raj’s fifty has prompted Abhijato Sensarma to break into verse.
Mithali is in a league of her own
But is she stuck in an era of the past
The women’s game has grown and grown
The batters are powerful and the bowlers fast
Mithali, the accumulator, seems to be left all alone
Making runs and runs, leading an outdated yet fighting cast.
40th over: India 171-6 (Raj 51, Bhatia 1) Raj pushes Cross into the covers and finally reaches her fifty, off 80 balls. It’s her second fifty of this series and her 64th in ODIs. She’s been elegant, controlled, but seldom commanding, and she does need to change that now.
Wicket!! Rana c Knight b Cross 5 (India 168-6)
Kate Cross can’t stop taking wickets. She persuades Rana to offer up another skyer and, after spending some time in the ether, it’s safely pouched by Heather Knight. Cross has a five-for!
39th over: India 168-5 (Raj 49, Rana 5) Rana isn’t going to die wondering. She wallops Shrubsole just over mid-on for four, but India are suffering from the same malaise as on Sunday: too many dots.
38th over: India 162-5 (Raj 49, Rana 1) Cross is finding bowling very easy today. After snaffling Sharma, she induces a nick from the new batter, Sneh Rana, which eludes Jones behind the stumps. It’s all happening and Raj isn’t getting enough of the strike.
Wicket! Sharma c Dunkley b Cross 5 (India 160-5)
Cross does it again! She tempts Sharma into another big shot on the leg side, off the front foot this time. It hangs in the air and makes a nice catch for Sophia Dunkley, running in from deep square.
37th over: India 160-4 (Raj 48, Sharma 5) Sharma, facing Shrubsole, gets off the mark in style, swinging a perfectly respectable ball over midwicket with a satisfying crunch.
36th over: India 153-4 (Raj 48, Sharma 0) Cross is bustling in, touching 70mph and bowling a tight line to Raj. She’s not putting a foot wrong – until she does, with a no-ball. For the free hit, she bowls a bouncer that strikes Raj in the grille, and possibly puts Amy Jones’s nose out of joint, as she is standing up to the stumps. Raj has the usual checks, but she seems fine and guides the next ball for a single. The game needs her.
35th over: India 150-4 (Raj 47, Sharma 0) Shrubsole, taking over from Brunt, drifts down the leg side and Raj helps herself to a glance for four. This innings is all about Raj now. She has 47 off 67 balls, and she probably has to double that if India are going to set a decent target.
34th over: India 145-4 (Raj 42, Sharma 0) So Cross replaced Glenn, Raj drove through point, and the cover sweeper Sophia Dunkley made a hash of the stop. She produced the long barrier, only to let the ball bounce off her knee and dribble over the Toblerone. Insult and injury, all in one go. But the pain is soon forgotten as Cross picks up another wicket: she has 3-27, and one hand on the Player of the Match award.
Wicket! Kaur c & b Cross 19 (India 145-4)
The breakthrough England needed! Cross comes back and again makes the difference right away, drawing Kaur into a leading edge that goes up, up and into the hands of the bowler, who called for it loud and clear.
33rd over: India 140-3 (Raj 37, Kaur 19) Brunt continues and ties Raj down by bowling cutters. After four dots, Raj manages a cut for a single. So much for a run a ball.
32nd over: India 139-3 (Raj 36, Kaur 19) Raj gives Glenn a technical chance off her own bowling, but she hit the ball so well, and so low, that I’m going to take an executive decision and not reach for the bold type. That’s drinks, with India back in the game, but needing to go at six an over from here on in, to get close to 250.
31st over: India 134-3 (Raj 31, Kaur 19) Only three off the over from Brunt, whose second spell has been much tidier than her first. I missed the fifty partnership, which came up with that gloved sweep: given the trouble India were in when they came together, with Raj still on 0, these two have done very well.
30th over: India 131-3 (Raj 29, Kaur 18) The pendulum swings again as India take seven off this over from Glenn, four of them via a sweep from Raj which may have come off the glove.
29th over: India 124-3 (Raj 23, Kaur 17) Sciver comes off, to be replaced by ... her fiancée, Katherine Brunt. Kaur plays a straight drive, so straight that the ball is half-stopped by the stumps. That’s another good over for England, who have put the plug back in after that spurt.
28th over: India 121-3 (Raj 22, Kaur 16) A much better over from Sarah Glenn, conceding only a single. I’d like to tell you how that cake is going down, but the Sky director has lost interest in it. Lightweight.
27th over: India 120-3 (Raj 21, Kaur 16) Sciver restores order, restricting the batters to three singles.
26th over: India 117-3 (Raj 18, Kaur 16) Kaur takes the hint from her captain and feathers a paddle for four to very fine leg. Glenn, rattled, bowls a wide that goes for four too, so that’s 11 off the over. Game on!
25th over: India 106-3 (Raj 18, Kaur 11) Raj opens the face and caresses Sciver for four through the covers. In the stands, a cake is handed to a dad whose birthday it appears to be, though there’s a piece of card saying 1 rather than a candle, so maybe it’s his baby’s birthday, not his. From where I sit, it looks like a chocolate fudge cake from Waitrose.
24th over: India 98-3 (Raj 13, Kaur 9) Cross gets a rest at last as Knight sends for Sarah Glenn. Her leg-breaks are a chance for some milking and the batters take it, helping themselves to five singles. That’s more like it
23rd over: India 94-3 (Raj 11, Kaur 6) Raj did bat well on Sunday, but she has started slowly today. Facing Sciver, she finally asserts herself with a pull for four. Kaur, feeling the pressure, gets away with an inside edge onto the pad.
22nd over: India 88-3 (Raj 6, Kaur 4) Cross stays on and finds her line and length again. India have made 13-2 off the past seven overs, and they’re in danger of turning this game into Bristol 2: Not Fast, Just Furious.
21st over: India 86-3 (Raj 5, Kaur 4) Well there is a change, but it’s at the other end, as Ecclestone gives way to Nat Sciver. She starts well, conceding only a single and beating Kaur with some drift away.
20th over: India 85-3 (Raj 5, Kaur 3) Cross, bowling her fifth over on the trot, finally offers a few freebies: two balls on the pads to Kaur, and a half-volley outside off to Raj, who drives it for four. Keeping things simple has worked well for Heather Knight, but it’s time for a change now.
19th over: India 78-3 (Raj 1, Kaur 0) Nick Knight, on commentary, has worked out why Ecclestone is causing trouble – she’s getting some dip. She bowls a maiden to Raj, so that’s 3-2 off the last four overs. Come on India!
18th over: India 78-3 (Raj 1, Kaur 0) Raj gets off the mark but lives dangerously, slashing Cross close to the woman at gully. Never mind the wickets – the last three overs have gone for only three runs.
17th over: India 77-3 (Raj 0, Kaur 0) Verma made most of the runs, so it would be wrong to slam her. But she has left her team in a tight corner, with two new batters at the crease.
Wicket!! Verma st Jones b Ecclestone 44 (India 77-3)
Another one! Verma goes down the track to Ecclestone, who sees her coming and drops short. Verma is left trying to cut the ball in no-man’s land, and naturally she misses. Jones does the rest and although the TV umpire takes his time, she’s gone. India have thrown away a strong position here. And that’s drinks, with England suddenly on top.
16th over: India 76-2 (Verma 44, Raj 0) Cross, who has 2-12 from her three overs, celebrated that wicket by miming taking sips of something. Mark Wood has an imaginary horse, Kate Cross has an imaginary drinks cabinet.
Rodrigues c Brunt b Cross 8 (India 76-2)
Cross does it again! A full ball, possibly slower, draws Rodrigues into a leading edge that soars into the blue Somerset sky and is easily caught by Katherine Brunt at mid-on.
15th over: India 75-1 (Verma 42, Rodrigues 8) Now Rodrigues comes to the party, going inside-out over extra-cover, a bit too close to the woman at mid-off for comfort, but then playing a shot of real authority, a lovely cover drive. Both go for four and India are chugging along nicely at five an over.
14th over: India 66-1 (Verma 41, Rodrigues 0) If Verma’s bothered at losing her partner, she’s not going to show it. Or maybe this is instant vengeance: she walks across to the off and laps Cross for four. When Cross responds with a better ball – outside off and, holding its line – Verma gets away with a nick and that’s four more.
13th over: India 57-1 (Verma 32, Rodrigues 0) Ecclestone lets Verma take a single and then keeps the new batter, Jemimah Rodrigues, waiting for her first run. There are two Aussies on commentary, Mel Jones and our own Adam Collins. She says Je-my-mah, he says Je-me-mah, let’s call the whole thing off.
12th over: India 56-1 (Verma 31, Rodrigues 0) Instant success for Kate Cross, and the end of an elegant innings from Mandhana. As twenties go, that was a good one.
Wicket! Mandhana b Cross 22 (India 56-1)
The breakthrough! And it’s brought about by a change in bowling. Kate Cross comes on, Mandhana tries to deflect a wobble-seamer outside off to third man and succeeds only in getting an inside edge onto her stumps.
11th over: India 55-0 (Mandhana 22, Verma 30) Verma is facing Ecclestone in a duel that we may well be watching, on and off, for the next 15 years. Verma wins this round: she clips for two to bring up the fifty partnership, then slog-sweeps for four over midwicket.
10th over: India 48-0 (Mandhana 22, Verma 23) Shrubsole continues and Mandhana plus another controlled pull, this time in front of square, so she picks up four. Another pull, another single, and Mandhana has caught up with her precocious partner. Verma mis-hits an upper cut, ending up with a bottom edge, but gets away with it and then, more serenely, glides a single. The PowerPlay ends with India sitting pretty and Lauren Winfield-Hill wondering how on earth she dropped that catch.
9th over: India 42-0 (Mandhana 17, Verma 22) Yes, Brunt goes off to chunter to herself in the deep, and it’s time for some spin with Sophie Ecclestone, the world No.1. She’s a touch short by her high standards, so Mandhana helps herself to a couple of controlled pulls, for a single apiece.
8th over: India 39-0 (Mandhana 15, Verma 21) Shrubsole has simply carried on where England left off on Sunday. She now has 0-10 off four overs, to Brunt’s 0-29. A change is gonna come.
7th over: India 37-0 (Mandhana 14, Verma 21) Katherine Brunt is not exactly relishing this pitch. She pitches it up, looking for her usual ousting, and Mandhana flicks her for four. She tries a slower-ball bouncer to keep Verma quiet, which has the desired effect except that it’s called a wide. And then Verma is dropped at mid-off, flat-batting a sort of straight cut to Lauren Winfield-Hill. It was a straightforward chance and I’m not sure why it was spilled as she seemed to be watching it all the way.
6th over: India 32-0 (Mandhana 9, Verma 21) A single to each batter. “Excellent running again,” says Charlie Dagnall, “much better from India.”
5th over: India 30-0 (Mandhana 8, Verma 20) Verma hooks Brunt again, but only gets a single as there’s a woman out there now. Not to be deterred, she targets the off side, goes back and just blocks another four, letting her timing do all the work. She is such a talent.
And here’s a fan of hers. “I’ve switched over from Anderson v Djokovic to this match,” says Abhijato Sensarma, “for a single reason: Shafali Verma. If she gets out in the Powerplay again, it’s probably curtains for the Indian team as is.
“Also, I have a query: how is it that English cricket fans are some of the most gracious and entertaining in the world, whereas the English football fans are a bit too disrespectful, as we saw when they booed the German anthem at Wembley yesterday? Does it have to do with the distinctly different sporting culture, or am I misinterpreting things from an outsider’s perspective?” Would any of our English readers care to comment?
4th over: India 23-0 (Mandhana 7, Verma 14) Shrubsole produces an astonishing ball to Mandhana – pitching outside leg, swinging so far that it squares her up, takes the edge and flies over slip for a single. Next ball, she beats Verma outside off, more conventionally, except that the ball is an inswinger and Verma was playing for even more swing than there was. Unbowed, Verma hits a lofted off drive for her third four, and then steals a single with a dab to square leg. Good contest.
3rd over: India 16-0 (Mandhana 6, Verma 9) The dots are piling up until Brunt bowls a wide – given for height – and then offers Mandana another easy flick. Verma, confident enough to step away even though it was her undoing on Sunday, plays a crafty upper cut for four, and then hooks for four more as Brunt tries to intimidate her. Good luck with that.
2nd over: India 6-0 (Mandhana 5, Verma 1) From the other end it’s Anya Shrubsole, swinging it in where Brunt swings it out. She’s right on the spot to Verma, who plays out a maiden and flirts with danger off the last ball, spooning a push just short of the woman at short extra. In beach cricket, that would be half out.
1st over: India 6-0 (Smriti Mandhana 5, Shafali Verma 1) The first ball is not a dot! Katherine Brunt dishes up a bit of comfort food on leg stump, and Mandhana clips it away for an easy single. Next ball, Brunt bends her back and beats Shafali Verma, the teenage prodigy who is about half her age. Verma too tucks a single off her pads, and then Mandhana, seizing on a not very short ball, plays a handsome pull for four. This is already better from India.
There’s one stat from the first game that is hanging in the air like a bad smell. India’s batters racked up 181 dot balls. Thirty whole overs! Things can only get better.
A quick guide to the state of play. If England win today, they wrap up the ODI series because they’ll be 2-0 up with one game to go. But they won’t have bagged the big one: the multi-format series between these two sides, which is decided by points. The score there stands at 4-2 to England, as both sides picked up two points for drawing the Test, and there are two on offer for each of the white-ball games. With three T20s to follow the ODI series, there are still 10 points up for grabs, so another Indian defeat would not be fatal.
Teams: three changes for India
Meanwhile India are taking a leaf out of the England (men’s) selectors’ book from the 1980s: in, out, shake it all about. Punam Raut, Pooja Vastrakar and Ekta Bisht make way for Jemimah Rodrigues, Sneh Rana and Poonam Yadav.
India 1 Smriti Vandana, 2 Shafali Verma, 3 Jemimah Rodrigues, 4 Mithali Raj (cast), 5 Harmanpreet Kaur, 6 Deepti Sharma, 7 Sneh Rana, 8 Tania Bhatia, 9 Poonam Yadav, 10 Shikha Pandey, 11 Jhulan Goswami.
Teams: England unchanged
Charlotte Edwards is amazed that England opted to bowl first on such a good pitch for the batters, and not at all surprised that they haven’t changed a winning team.
England 1 Lauren Winfield-Hill, 2 Tammy Beaumont, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones (wkt), 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Katherine Brunt, 8 Sophie Ecclestone, 9 Sarah Glenn, 10 Anya Shrubsole, 11 Kate Cross.
Toss: England win and bowl first
Heather Knight flips, Mithali Raj calls tails, it’s heads, and India will bat first again.
Afternoon everyone and welcome to a dose of sanity. England and India are about to show that it’s possible to stage an international sporting occasion without anyone spouting jingoistic drivel, booing their opponents’ anthem, harping on about what happened half a century ago, or giving an out-of-form star 8 out of 10 for managing one good moment in the match. OK, there may not be 20m people watching with bated breath either, but then you can’t have it all.
England go into this second ODI at Taunton one-nil up with two to play. India, who had done so well to salvage a draw in the Test, made one mistake in the first ODI: they failed to remember that in this format you have to get a move on. Of their batters only Shafali Verma, born in 2004, was in any rush, and after living by the slog, she died by it too, backing away and top-edging Katherine Brunt. Her team-mates motored along in the middle lane and duly reached the destination they had entered in their satnav: 200 off 50 overs, plus one for good measure.
England, in cruise control, overtook India with 15 overs and eight wickets to spare. The main excitement lay in seeing whether Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver could race along at exactly a run a ball (they did). India’s batting, sluggish though it was, wasn’t far off their average for the past five years, which is 226 per 50 overs. It was their bowling wot lost it – they typically concede just 203 per 50 overs, not 202 in 35. They’re the third-best team in the world in this format, behind Australia and England, and they face a simple choice today: show it or blow it.
Play starts at 2pm (UK time) and the weather forecast is sunny with some benign-looking clouds later on. See you just after 1.30 with the toss and the teams.