Nat Sciver-Brunt was a key player for England Women as the visiting side managed to get the better of India by winning the T20 series 2-1 at the Wankhede Stadium. England won the first two games to clinch the series, while India grabbed the consolation win in the third T20I.
England continued to dominate India, especially in their own backyard. Heather Knight’s side has now emerged victorious on Indian soil on nine occasions, compared to the home side’s three.
Nat Sciver-Brunt, 'The Queen of Mumbai'
Talking to Women's CricZone, Tammy Beaumont called Sciver-Brunt, "The Queen of Mumbai" after the first T20I. The Player of the Series showed why deserved that title with her all-round performances in the first two T20Is.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) allrounder was awarded the Player of the Match for her compelling display in the opening game. In the first match, she anchored England's innings with a 53-ball 77 after the batting side were rocked with two early wickets. With the ball, she opened England's wicket account with the early wicket of Smriti Mandhana. In the second T20I, even though she could only manage to score 16 runs, she did get the wicket of Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
Sciver-Brunt ended the series with 93 runs and two wickets, earning her the Player of the Series award in the process. Her absence was felt in England's home T20I series defeat against Sri Lanka earlier this year and one could see the gap in England's batting line-up after Sciver-Brunt was rested for the final match.
The return of Sophie Ecclestone
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone returned to the England squad after recovering from her injury. The No. 1-ranked bowler had dislocated her right shoulder during The Hundred back in August while warming up for Manchester Originals’ game against Southern Brave.
She couldn’t have asked for a better comeback. In the first T20I, she grabbed three wickets while conceding only 15 runs in her four-over spell. Ecclestone continued her good form the following game by picking another two wickets, maintaining a tight economy of 3.90. Although too expensive in the final T20I, she still managed to take two wickets.
Ecclestone finished the series as the joint-highest wicket-taker with seven wickets to her name.
Renuka Singh Thakur: India’s silver lining
Renuka Singh Thakur was back in the Indian squad for the England series after recovering from an injury. The seamer was undoubtedly Team India’s best performer in the series.
Thakur began the first T20I by dismissing Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey in two consecutive deliveries in the very first over of the game. She also sent Sciver-Brunt back to the dressing room. Taking three wickets in the first T20I, she added two more wickets in the second T20I.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star added another two wickets in the final T20I, making her the joint-highest wicket-taker in the series along with Ecclestone.
WPL graduates - Shreyanka Patil and Saika Ishaque
New faces in the Indian squad, Patil and Ishaque made their international and picked up their maiden wickets in the first match itself but couldn't trouble the England batters. However, the duo showcased their WPL experience and spin prowess in the third T20I. RCB's Patil bagged the Player of the Match in the final match owing to her economical spell where she conceded 19 runs while plucking up three wickets. Ishqaue joined in on the fun three more wickets while giving away just 22 runs in her four overs. The spinners ended the three-match series with five wickets a piece.
Amanjot Kaur’s cameo, a sight to behold
Punjab’s Amanjot Kaur made a name for herself in the series. She was only named in the starting lineup in the third T20I. As a substitute fielder, she made a tremendous acrobatic effort to grab Alice Capsey’s catch in the second T20I.
The allrounder took two wickets in the final game, dismissing skipper Heather Knight and Mahika Gaur in the last over of England’s innings. With the bat, she finished the game in India’s favour in style. Under pressure, she hit Ecclestone for three boundaries in the penultimate over and won the match for India with six balls to spare.