England win the multiformat points series 10-6. They will be very pleased with that after India got back into it with a couple of tough wins at Worcester and Hove. All told, a fine advertisement for playing all three formats as often as possible, especially when co-ordinated this way. India played some fine cricket, with plenty of time to develop neat little storylines and rivalries along the way. As for the home side, they’re in good shape with another eight white-ball games coming up against New Zealand in September. Right, on that note, I’m going to grab a cup of tea. Thanks for your company!
Wyatt finishes on 89 not out from 56 balls. She will soon be announced as player of the match, completing the series on a big high after enduring such disappointment when losing her ODI spot. What a statement that is from a prodigiously talented cricketer.
ENLAND WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS AND TAKE THE SERIES 2-1!
18.4 overs: England 154-2 (Wyatt 89*, Knight 6*) Deepti gets the penultimate over and Wyatt sweeps her for SIX! There is a deep square in position but she’s backed her shot and it goes the full journey - that should be enough for England; five to go. Make that one to go, the opener sweeping square of short fine, no need to run for that. A little smile comes to her face with the scores level. And the job is done with eight balls to spare, Wyatt taking one out to midwicket to complete the two-one series victory. A comprehensive victory, also enough to seal the multiformat series 10 points to six.
18th over: England 141-2 (Wyatt 76, Knight 6) Poonam forces an error from Wyatt, cutting without power or control, somehow bisecting cover and point. Had that gone to hand... well, not to be. Ooohh, and it nearly happens again with Knight miscuing in the same direction, just short of the cover fielder. Better from Wyatt to finish, on top of the bounce with one to midwicket. Just three from the over though, 13 needed from 12 and India aren’t quitting.
17th over: England 138-2 (Wyatt 74, Knight 5) A little reverse paddle from Knight first ball! You get four for that - nice. 16 off 18 needed.
This was also cagey from Rana, a well-executed quicker delivery.
WICKET! Sciver b Rana 42 (England 132-2)
The end of a matchwinning union of 112, Sciver bowled going back and making room to a ball that didn’t quite get up as she anticipated.
16th over: England 131-1 (Wyatt 72, Sciver 42) Poonam now, an over too late for mine with the pressure valve now released. Six from the set without any risks required, principally going down the ground. Clinical. Some very good running to finish too, one turned into two.
15th over: England 125-1 (Wyatt 70, Sciver 38) Nup, Radha not Poonam and it prompts a calculated risk, Wyatt going over point for four. Not where she wanted it to go, not convincing, but it does help relieve any pressure that might’ve built up over the last two overs. Oh, and so does that: the juiciest of full tosses, pulled away with the opener to bring up the 100-partnership from 68 balls. Four singles after the back-to-back boundaries; England need 29 from 30.
14th over: England 113-1 (Wyatt 60, Sciver 36) Two good overs in a row from India’s spinners, just four singles off Deepti here. This is what they did on Sunday: a couple of quiet overs then the collapse (6/36, including four runs outs) commenced. Back to Poonam, yeah?
13th over: England 109-1 (Wyatt 58, Sciver 34) Five singles, after all that. 45 runs left for England to gather from seven hours. Easy?
IS SCIVER OUT LBW TO RADHA? Tough to give that for a left-arm orthodox coming over the wicket. NOT OUT! Missing, easily. And she’s given a little telling off by Sue Redfern for the full-on appeal.
Wyatt to 50 in 33 balls!
12th over: England 104-1 (Wyatt 56, Sciver 31) The back of this chase looks broken, both players stuck into Pandey here in an over worth 14, making 51 from the last five. First it’s Sciver, pulling with all her might through midwicket - nobody is stopping that. Wyatt’s turn, bringing up her 8th T20 half-century for England with a drive behind point to the rope. Next up, a precise late cut, beating short third - four more; her ninth boundary. England need 50 from 48.
11th over: England 90-1 (Wyatt 47, Sciver 26) Sneh Raha is quicker through the with her off-breaks, which suits Nat Sciver down the ground when reaching the pitch of the ball after dancing, lifting over midwicket like it is not even a thing, making eight from the over. They look like they’re going to cruise this. Then again, that’s how it looked when Beaumont and Knight flying together on Sunday.
10th over: England 82-1 (Wyatt 45, Sciver 20) Radha Yadav again, so it’s slow spin from both ends. And it almost works, until the final ball of the other when Wyatt dances and drives over extra cover, once bounce into the advertising boards. That’s just what we saw from her time and time again in her breathtaking ton against Australia in Canberra four years ago - she’s right on her game here.
Here are the highlights from that wild night in the nation’s capital.
9th over: England 73-1 (Wyatt 39, Sciver 18) Wyatt lucky there after Poonam completely does her in flight, the miscued chip landing within metres of the long-off running in off the rope. But the opener is much better later in the set, sweeping into the gap at backward square for four. That takes some doing against a leggie coming around the wicket - great execution. And she goes again from the penultimate ball, dancing and lofting over the spinner’s head - superb timing, not overhitting it. The 50 partnership is up. To win from here, England require 81 from 66 - not a stressful equation.
8th over: England 61-1 (Wyatt 29, Sciver 16) Deepti’s has a good series and this is a good over after the legside wide to start. But despite there being no boundary, Wyatt turns a one into a two with some fierce running. She looks up for this tonight - great to see.
7th over: England 53-1 (Wyatt 25, Sciver 13) With the field back, it’s Poonam Yadav’s turn to try and get the batters second (third, fourth) guessing with her slow and crafty wrist spin. But Sciver isn’t having any of that, sweeping with authority through midwicket for four. Ooh, Reddy is hurt here - she was the sweeper trying to cut of off, failing to do so, landing heavily on her right shoulder. The medical staff are out there taking a look - this could be a big moment in the game with the seamer still needed for up to three overs. And Reddy leaves the field. Back to Poonam after the delay and it’s Wyatt going big to finish, flatbatting over the bowler for four more. 11 off it.
6th over: England 42-1 (Wyatt 20, Sciver 7) Here comes Danni Wyatt! Somewhat downgraded in recent times, losing her spot in the ODIs, but this is what she can do. Bang, over extra cover. Steer, past short third. Clip, over cover point. Three boundaries from it, a most handy way to end the power play, relieving a bit of scoreboard pressure.
5th over: England 30-1 (Wyatt 8, Sciver 7) Pandey returns, trying to hoop it as she did in the first over of India’s defence, and neeeearly sneaks through Sciver’s defences early in the set. But she gets a chance to come down the track and get a big stride in to finish, crashing a cover drive into the gap, away for her first boundary.
4th over: England 23-1 (Wyatt 7, Sciver 2) Three singles after the wicket, Sciver off the mark pulling through midwicket then muscling down the long-on - the area where she’s strongest.
WICKET! Beaumont lbw b Deepti (England 20-1)
Oh yes, that’s very out - middle halfway up. I wonder on what basis she was reviewing the decision? Also, a word for Tim Robinson, who swayed back with panache before raising his finger. More of that.
IS BEAUMONT LBW TO DEEPTI? Tim Robinson thinks so, Tammy wants another look. She missed her sweep. Here we go...
3rd over: England 19-0 (Wyatt 5, Beaumont 11) Radha replaces Pandey with her slow left-arm orthodox, tempting Wyatt into a heave from outside the off stump towards the legside, nearly getting her into strife with a sweeper out there. Much better from Beaumont to finish, jumping waaaay back in her crease to pull into the gap at backward square. Verma did her best to chase it down and reach the ball before getting to the rope, but ended up scooping it over the ,ine with her. A brilliant replay of the boundary shows that Beaumont actually played that from behind her stumps. This might require a video highlight clip to explain... I’ve never seen that before.
2nd over: England 8-0 (Wyatt 2, Beaumont 5) Ohhh, Verma puts Beaumont down! It may’ve only touched her right hand, but on the basis of how out of position she was when the ball arrived, that was a drop. She was dreadful on the rope during the Worcester ODI, on a couple of occasions dragged back into the circle. Instead of having England’s gun opener for a duck, she’s off the mark with a four.
1st over: England 2-0 (Wyatt 1, Beaumont 0) Is that Radha Yadav saving four runs again? The best backward point in the game - she’s magnificent. Wyatt gets the first run from the bat, to deep third.
The players are back. Me too. Shikha Pandey to Danni Wyatt. PLAY!
Ecclestone 3/35, Mandhana 70 (51). Some brilliant cricket there. I’ll be back for the chase after quickly inhaling a plate of dinner.
ENGLAND REQUIRE 154
12 runs from the final over, pushing India beyond 150. Considering where they were after a very poor power play, worth just 28-2, the visitors batting brilliantly thereafter with the field out. Game on!
20th over: India 153-6 (Deepti 0, Reddy 1)
WICKET! Ghosh b Ecclestone 20 (India 149-6)
The end of a great scrap between the punchy Ghosh and the skilful Ecclestone. The former smashed the No1 ranked spinner in the world for consecutive boundaries - sweeping then edging, giving it everything - but was bowled from a potent arm ball. That’s her third wicket and the second to come via the straight one.
19th over: India 141-5 (Ghosh 12, Deepti 6) Sciver has done everything right this evening, taking two classy catches, picking up the most important wicket and going for just 16 from her four overs. Highlighting, yet again, why she’s the No1 all-rounder in the world.
18th over: India 135-5 (Ghosh 11, Deepti 1) A commendable response from Davies after taking plenty of tap from her third over, unlucky not to get that leg before decision or collect one of two miscued shots off slower balls that didn’t quite get to the sweepers. Finishes with a very good inswinging yorker, just missing off stump.
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NOT OUT! Davies challenged an lbw decision, but it was umpire’s call despite on impact going on to hit middle. Deepti survives.
17th over: India 130-5 (Ghosh 8, Deepti 0) This has turned into quite the busy innings. Before her dismissal, Mandhana went over mid-off - another great shot; her tenth and final boundary. But losing the opener didn’t bother Ghosh, beating long-on to the rope (helped by a midfield) then hammering another four in the same direction to make 12 from the eventful over. India look on track for 150-odd.
And here’s that Sciver catch.
WICKET! Mandhana c Sciver b Brunt 70 (India 122-5)
The big wicket! Brunt goes with the back-of-the-hand slower ball to Mandhana, who goes at it anyway reaching it on the full. But she picked the wrong fielder to target, Sciver sprinting in to nail the dive, her second wonderful catch of the innings. Fine work.
16th over: India 118-4 (Mandhana 66, Ghosh 0) A big six, a wicket, ten runs from the over. It’s all happening at Chelmsford.
WICKET! Rana b Ecclestone 4 (India 116-4)
Ecclestone bounces back! Two balls after Manahana slog-swept her all the way for six, she sends the quicker one in at Sneh Raha, crashing into her middle-stump when attempting the same shot.
Mandhana to 50!
15th over: India 108-3 (Mandhana 58, Rana 3) Davies to Mandhana and she misses outside the leg stump to begin - wide called. And to a fine half-century she goes, from her 41st ball, nailing a pull shot in front of square, hit too well for the sweepers. And four more later in the over when Davies gives her a gift - a full toss on the pads, helped away past short fine leg. Run out chance now... missed! Wyatt gets the throw into but Davies from deep midwicket but the bowler wasn’t able to collect and take Rana’s bails. She almost had too much time. Ooh, and with one ball to go the bad over gets worse - missing down the legside. Frazzled. But she keeps it together with a good yorker to complete the expensive set, 14 runs taken from it. India have added 80 runs for one wicket in the middle overs (7-15) stanza.
14th over: India 94-3 (Mandhana 46, Rana 3) Outstanding from Mandhana, coming down to the off-spin of Villiers, timing her inside-out over cover for four. And four more to finish, Dunkley’s boot touching the rope at backward square leg after cutting off the left-hander’s sweep. Can she bat through the innings and really make this count? For India to get to 140-odd, she’ll need to.
13th over: India 84-3 (Mandhana 37, Rana 2) Sneh Rana, who might be my favourite player in the world at the moment, comes in at No5 - quite the promotion given she started the tour down at No9 in the Test, where she slotted a glorious unbeaten 80 to save the match on the final afternoon. One, two, three singles to complete the successful Sciver over, the brakes on at the ideal time for England.
WICKET! Harmanpreet lbw b Sciver 36 (India 81-3)
Good from Umpire Redfern: that was hitting middle after impact was made just on the line of the off-stump, the Indian captain caught on the crease playing across the line. And just Harmanpreet looked ready to explode. Sigh. As for Sciver, she does it again.
HAS SCIVER PICKED UP HARMANPREET LBW? With the first ball of her new spell, the all-rounder wins the decision! Upstairs we go!
12th over: India 81-2 (Mandhana 36, Harmanpreet 36) Well, this is exactly what we’ve been hoping would come from Harmanpreet on this tour, who has flattered to deceive. Three boundaries come in the over, a full toss slog-swept away with ease then a glorious cover drive after dancing down at the leggie. The third, after the failed review for lbw, is cut to perfection. She pulls level with Mandhana.
NOT OUT! That was thigh pad, not an under edge. Carry on.
HAS HARMANPREET BEEN CAUGHT DOWN THE LEGSIDE? Sarah Glenn likes it and Heather Knight does too. They go upstairs.
11th over: India 67-2 (Mandhana 36, Harmanpreet 23) Davies to Mandhana who goes BANG over long-off for SIX MORE - that’s a great shot. As poor as India were during the power play, they have had an excellent stretch since. As soon as you say something nice... later in the over, Mandhana burns a run when running on turning short - bad cricket. A single to finish for Harmanpreet - nine off it.
10th over: India 58-2 (Mandhana 28, Harmanpreet 22) Essex local Maddy Villiers now, who bowled beautifully at this ground against Australia two years ago. But Harmanpreet loves taking on off-spin, waiting only two balls to dance down the track and hit the first SIX of the night over long-on! That’s the way to show some authority, something the Indian skipper has struggled with on this trip. Ten runs from the over, making 25 from the last three. Much better.
9th over: India 48-2 (Mandhana 26, Harmanpreet 14) Ecclestone is back, time to turn the screws, but Mandhana is up to the task, sweeping her for four. India have consolidated, eight from this.
8th over: India 40-2 (Mandhana 20, Harmanpreet 12) Shot! Harmanpreet jumps back Sarah Glenn’s second ball and laces it through the gap at point - four runs. She dances at the next, turning it into a waist-high full toss, but can’t beat midwicket. The legspinner finds her length thereafter, just two further singles.
7th over: India 33-2 (Mandhana 18, Harmanpreet 7) Freya Davies, who has been playing in this series ahead of Anya Shrubsole, gets her first over. Indeed, the bowler she has replaced has identified the right-arm seamer as a future attack-leader. A good start here too, prompting a bit of creativity by the captain Harmanpreet, getting down to scoop and doing so perfectly, earning her first boundary.
6th over: India 28-2 (Mandhana 17, Harmanpreet 3) Sciver has the ba for the final over of the power play and Mandhana comes close to finding the legside rope on a couple of occasions but doesn’t quite locate the gap. So, just four runs from it. That’s a bad misfire for India in the opening stretch having won the toss and elected to bat.
5th over: India 24-2 (Mandhana 15, Harmanpreet 1) Nicely played, Mandhana placing a Brunt delivery into the gap at backward square, timed well enough to race away for four. And she goes once more, the opener this time walking down the track before slapping over midwicket - she didn’t get all of it but, with no fielder back there during the power play, she gets enough of it to reach the rope again.
4th over: India 15-2 (Mandhana 7, Harmanpreet 1) Deol jumped down at Ecclestone the ball before her demise, slamming a lovely four through mid-on, but that doesn’t mean an awful lot now. India’s most experienced and important pair are now together.
WICKET! Deol c Sciver b Ecclestone 6 (India 13-2)
Great technique from Sciver at midwicket, diving forward and getting her hands nice and low to get under the ball. And Ecclestone - the No1 bowler in the world - has a wicket with her third ball.
3rd over: India 9-1 (Mandhana 6, Deol 2) Not a lot of love for Brunt’s send off for Verma - it did feel a bit much. Their rivalry through the series has been excellent, pushing and pulling, the opener never changing her plan. Let’s hope we get to see them up against each other again at the one-day World Cup in New Zealand next February. The Barnsley Express goes again and nearly collects the other opener too, miscuing over mid-on for a couple. Deol is struggling to rotate the strike so far but does clip a single behind square to finish.
NOT OUT! It has missed leg; a good use of DRS by Deol.
2nd over: India 4-1 (Mandhana 3, Deol 1) A superb start for England.
IS DEOL LBW TO SCIVER? She’s given on the ground but sends it upstairs, hoping that it snuck down leg. Stand by.
1st over: India 1-1 (Mandhana 1, Deol 0) What a start, beating Mandhana with a beauty then knocking over the young tyro. And we see on TV that Brunt gave it big after taking the wicket, shooshing the 17-year-old in her follow-through. After being whacked for five boundaries in a row on Sunday, a bit of pent up frustration there.
WICKET! Verma b Brunt 0 (India 1-1)
Brunt gets Verma for a duck! Again! In very similar circumstances to two earlier dismissals to her over the last fortnight, the right-hander backing away to make room, this time chopping onto leg stump.
“Discussion on Brunt v Verma on Sky,” writes Mysteron_Voice on twitter, “They mention that Verma may be slightly on top because of her boundaries. Michael Holding when asked recently how he may have felt if someone took him for five fours and then got bowled replied ‘Well, I’ve got one for twenty.’” And no boundaries tonight.
The players are on the field. As noted on TV, the only time England have lost at Chelmsford was against Australia in their Women’s Ashes clash in 2019 - that was a true Meg Lanning worldly. Katherine Brunt has the new ball for England, the 36-year-old ready for the final stanza of her stoush with 17-year-old Shafali Verma. PLAY!
Plenty of news from The Hundred today. In the women’s comp, West Indian all-rounder Hayley Matthews replaces Sune Luus at the Welsh Fire - the South African has tested positive for Covid-19. Over at the Birmingham Phoenix, WBBL utility Katie Mack comes in for the best player of her generation, Ellyse Perry. Can the competition get off the ground with 50,000+ Covid cases a day, though? I suspect it’s going to be a very long week until the tournament opener.
Harmanpreet Kaur: “If we bat first we can bat freely.” The Indian captain adds that bouncing back here, to draw the series, would mean a great deal to this developing side. On Harleen Deol, who took the viral catch: “We are very lucky to have players like her.”
Heather Knight was going to bowl had she won the toss, so no concerns. “For us, it is about parking the last game very quickly.”
Both teams are unchanged from Sunday. So, as expected.
England: Danni Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Nat Sciver, Heather Knight (c), Amy Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Mady Villiers, Freya Davies
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Arundhati Reddy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav
Looks a nice night at Chelmsford, no bad weather about.
India have won the toss
They’re batting first. Teams shortly.
Wonderful exposure for tonight’s game. In addition to Sky Cricket, who televise the lot, this is one of the games BBC TV have as part of their arrangement as of last year, live on BBC2. Sky are also showing all of these T20s free-to-access on their Youtube page. Great stuff.
At different points through the standlone Test Match, and the One-Day Internationals that followed, there was a growing feeling that the gap between these sides had grown. A sense that India, for all their progress before the pandemic, had fallen back into the pack, well behind England and Australia, the two world champions.
But a little over a week later, and the visitors have the opportunity to square the overall multiformat at eight points each with Heather Knight’s side, a victory that would see them claim the T20 leg 2-1.
Their win on Sunday at Hove was built around a brilliant fielding effort, dragging themselves over the line after England looked in cruise control in pursuit of 149. Four run outs later, in a collapse of 6/36 in the final six overs, they were left nine runs short.
In the best possible way, this is a different Indian team to the one that started their journey a month ago. If they can get it done at Chelmsford, the belief it will give Harmanpreet Kaur and co, with a World Cup around the corner in February, will be considerable.
As for the hosts, this feels important too. After starting so well, they need to stick the landing at a ground they love more than any other. With matchwinners like Nat Sciver and Tammy Beaumont influential in the T20s so far, there’s no reason why they can’t.
Play begins at 6.30pm BST.