Deepti Sharma's five-wicket haul headlines India's Day 2 domination

India and England's spinners pick up 15 wickets on a 19-wicket day as India go into Day 3 with a mammoth lead of 478 runs

New Update
Deepti Sharma

Deepti Sharma after completing her maiden Test five-wicket haul © BCCI

It was another successful day for India as the home side managed to grab a 478-run lead at the end of Day 2 of the one-off Test against England on Friday (December 15). Spinners worked their magic, with Deepti Sharma claiming her first-ever five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Sneh Rana provided additional support by sending two English batters back to the pavilion including the all-important wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt. 

England opened the morning session in great fashion by bowling out the Indian side in under 40 minutes with 428 on the board. Lauren Bell kicked off the proceeding by getting the better of Sharma, who hit an outside edge through the slips and had to depart at 67 runs. Sophie Ecclestone finished off the tailenders by quickly dismissing Renuka Singh Thakur and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. 

Opening the bowling the India, Thakur took advantage of the new ball with some accurate swing bowling. After being put away for four twice by Sophia Dunkley, the debutant had the last laugh by beating her with an inswinger and taking her maiden Test wicket. Heather Knight was the next batter to walk back to the pavilion. Pooja Vastrakar’s delivery hit right on the back foot in front of the stumps, and the English skipper had to go after failing to overturn the umpire’s decision. 

Sciver-Brunt put some crucial runs on the board, building a good partnership with Tammy Beaumont. The all-rounder played with a good strike rate and smashed a few boundaries. But she slowed down when Harmanpreet Kaur introduced spinners as the ball got older. While going for a quick single, Beaumont failed to make it to the crease, and Vastrakar’s direct hit got India the third wicket. 

ALSO READ: Debutants Shubha Satheesh, Jemimah Rodrigues star on Day 1 

Navi Mumbai’s pitch did the talking as the red soil made the spin and bounce unpredictable, making it difficult for English batters. Sharma was brought to the bowling attack in the 26th over and made an instant impact. In her second delivery, Danni Wyatt caught an inside edge, and Jemimah Rodrigues was present at short leg to take a simple catch. 

England’s batting order completely collapsed in the next half-an-hour of the second session. Sharma delivered with the ball yet again, this time with a bizarre dismissal. Amy Jones pulled her short-pitched delivery aggressively, which hit Smriti Mandhana’s helmet at short leg, and the ball ricocheted in the air towards leg slip, which was caught by Shafali Verma. 

Sophie Ecclestone came to bat at number seven, and she was out in her second delivery with Sharma’s delivery turning in and hitting the timber. India’s spin attack was in full force as Rana dismissed Sciver-Brunt who had just hit her fourth Test half-century. She got beaten entirely by Rana’s off-break. 

Charlie Dean was the next batter to depart with Rana getting the better of the fellow off-spinner with another sharp turn. Sharma got her second international five-wicket haul by claiming Kate Cross and Lauren Filer’s wickets. England were bowled out for 136 runs. 

ALSO READ:  All WPL 2024 squads after the auction

Harmanpreet Kaur decided not to enforce the follow-on after India’s rampant bowling display. The hosts came out to bat for their second innings with a 292-run lead. Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana gave India a good start, with the latter dispatching Ecclestone’s first delivery for a six in the second over. 

After hitting a handful of boundaries and punishing Ecclestone on multiple occasions, Mandhana finally fell victim to the world's number-one bowler. The ball hit the top of her bat, and Beaumont took a sharp catch at short leg. 

After noticing the pitch’s patterns, Knight opted to give a long spell to Ecclestone and Dean, relying on the spin to do the damage. Her efforts paid off as Dean got the very next wicket. Verma played an aggressive shot but couldn’t get the timing right, and the ball fell into the hands of Ecclestone at long-on. 

The next two Indian dismissals happened in quick succession and in a similar fashion. Yastika Bhatia chipped her shot to short leg with Beaumont taking her second catch. The exact process was repeated with Jemimah Rodrigues who was looking in good form. There was a bit of drift from Dean, and the ball hit the shoulder of Rodrigues’ bat and sailed to Beaumont again at short leg. 

Wickets kept falling for India. Sharma tried to sweep the ball but it struck her low on the belly. England asked for a review, and the decision was overturned in their favor. Dean picked her fourth wicket as Rana was dismissed for a golden duck. With six batters down, skipper Kaur took up the responsibility of swelling up India’s lead lay. 

The Indian skipper played sensibly, defending Dean and Ecclestone’s dangerous spin bowling. Along with her, Vastrakar provided good support by hitting a couple of boundaries on loose deliveries. Kaur and Vastrakar built an ongoing partnership of 53 runs, before the umpire called for the end of the day. 

Brief scores - Day 2: India 1st innings 428/10 in 104.3 overs (Shubha Satheesh 69, Jemimah Rodrigues 68; Lauren Bell 3/67) and 2nd innings 186/6 in 42 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 44*, Charlie Dean 4/68) lead England 136/10 (Nat Sciver-Brunt 59, Deepti Sharma 5/7, Sneh Rana 2/25) by 478 runs