Nat Sciver propels England to 18-point win over India in first T20I in the rain

England’s all-rounder Nat Sciver broke a record half-century before bowlers put the struggling Indian hitters under pressure to secure an 18-point victory for the hosts via the DLS method in the first rain-reduced T20I against here.

Batted, England rolled on Sciver’s 27 55 balls, which included eight fours and one shot over the fence, and goalkeeper Amy Jones 43 on 27 balls to reach 177 for seven in 20 overs.

Sciver’s sensational 50 was England’s fastest in this format.

In response, India failed to maintain the required run rate despite vice-captain Smriti Mandhana’s quick firing 29 on 17 bullets before the Rain Gods had the final say with visitors at 54. for three in 8.4 overs, 18 races behind England via the DLS method.

England now lead the series of three matches 1-0 and 8-4 in the multi-format points system after winning the ODI Trophy.

Pursuing 178, India got off to the worst possible start as point guard Katherine Brunt bamboozled heavy hitter Shafali Verma for a duck, leaving India nothing for one.

However, Mandhana and Harleen Deol (17 not absent) have put tourists back on track after the initial upheaval.

With the rain on the cards, the duo quickly formed a 44-point partnership with Mandhana hitting six limits, including four consecutive Brunt’s in the third round of the pursuit, while Harleen played second fiddle.

But Sciver quickly struck, shaking off the dangerous Mandhana in sixth grade.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (1 )’s extended skinny zone continued as the senior hitter became the first casualty for general-purpose Sarah Glenn in the all following.

The sudden loss of the skipper’s wicket cost the Indians dearly, ensuring that they were well behind in the DLS method.

Earlier, veteran point guard Shikha Pandey (3/22) took three wickets by the snare while spinners Poonam Yadav (1/32) and Radha Yadav (1/33) each took a scalp in what was an effort of ordinary bowling.

Forerunners Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt gave England a good start, collecting 48 points on the power play.

Radha broke the opening bar in the eighth as wicket keeper Richa Ghosh, playing her first game of the series, caught Wyatt attempting a reverse sweep. Initially not given, the Indians opted for the review which showed a big spike on the UltraEdge.

After the departure of skipper Heather Knight, Sciver and Jones kept the moment going. The duo donned a 78-track stand.

Harmanpreet and Harleen made some splendid catches in the penultimate time as Shikha struck three times, getting rid of Sciver, Jones and Sophia Dunkley (1).

While skipper Harmanpreet, who lined up for a long time, ended Sciver’s brilliant innings by diving to put the ball a few inches off the ground.

Two balls later, Harleen ended Jones’ innings, as she jumped to take a superb inverted grip at the limit above his head before losing his balance.

She threw the ball into the air as she exited the limit rope to back up, diving forward to complete the catch.

Skipper Harmanpreet said the team’s commissioning has improved significantly under coach Abhay Sharma, but the bowling could have been better.

“We knew it would rain after 8:30 pm. We couldn’t do it because of the back-to-back ticket offices. We have lined up really well, there are a lot of improvements in our alignment. “Shikha has done very well in the bowling department. We have to think about the limits we give between the overs. If we can work on it, we can stop any team. Every game is important to us, today was unhappy because of the rain, ”she said in the post-game presentation.

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