England triumphed in the first T20I against India by 41 runs. Tammy Beaumont, the England opener scored a clinical 62 runs innings. She was also named the Player of the match.
When asked whether it was her best knock, Beaumont said, “Yeah maybe, to get a score and try to bat through the innings. I got a hundred last year, but this is one of the best knocks, helped us win. It’s always good when you are on the winning side. Particularly the way Danni Wyatt played and with Heather coming in around, I think was exceptional. That’s why I thought we got to that big score.”
Beaumont made an 89 run partnership with Wyatt which turned out be their highest since July. She said “It was just a case of we playing to our strengths. Danni and I hit in quite different areas, so we complement each other really well. It was just a case of sticking to our strengths and trying to play the right shots. Have a little bit of fun with the field if you can and if you can get them to change the field that opens up a different area. We were just trying to play smart.
Wyatt and Beaumont seemed to be good at picking that fifth gap, and when the fielder was brought to close that gap, they hit from where the fielder came. When asked about that, “A couple of times (we had fun with the field). A couple of times it came off, but a couple of times it didn’t. It’s nice when it comes off, make them make field changes and you are just backing your strength.”
The match was held at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati which is comparatively a new wicket also considered a very batting friendly wicket. “Outfield was really fast. Didn’t have to run too much. I think there was little bit in it for the bowlers, but enough margin for error that you can play your shots. You saw the way Danni managed to come down the wicket and make full use of the Power Play. It was quite a good wicket with some extra bounce for the bowlers, but we didn’t, ” she said.
Heather Knight played a blistering cameo to help her team power to 150 plus total. With reference to that Beaumont said, “Yes, definitely. She is particularly smart early on, picking the right bowlers to go after, to open up the offside and wind up. It was slow wicket and she was exceptional. That’s really why we got 160 at the end. She got 30 odd and not many balls at all. That’s what the later order tries to do, Lauren Winfield, Katherine Brunt coming in. That’s kind of their role to get going when they come in.”
Linsey Smith picked two crucial wickets of Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues. “I thought she was exceptional at the World Cup last year. Now she has come back in, first game of the tour and first ball pretty much get a wicket and not just any wicket but that of Smriti Mandhana. She was going to be the key batter in that chase. She bowled to her plan, and she is really good. She is a really great character to have around. So, it’s great to have her doing well,” Beaumont said.
“Yeah, she has got a big future. She has not played many games, but she has got a really good temperament. She is always up for the fight and that’s what you want in T20 cricket. If she gets hits a six then she wants to respond even more. She has got a big future. It will be hard to sort of step into the ODI side when Sophie Ecclestone is fit, but I don’t think that’s not impossible if that makes any sense,” she added.
It is seen that it’s better for England to lose the toss. She addressed it saying, “I think so. We really didn’t know what a good score was on that wicket. Actually, we were going to probably bowl first. Having a good look at the wicket. It helped (the seamers) a little bit.”
Beaumont reviewed her counterpart and said, “It’s hard to say. They(India) lost far too many wickets early on. We bowled quite well up front. We gave away a few wides, but in the whole, we held our length really well. Very difficult wicket to go over the top, so credit to our bowlers. I won’t say they batted particularly badly, but too many wickets at the top are always hard when you are chasing that kind of a total.”
The regular T20 wicketkeeper for England is Amy Jones but due to her illness, Beaumont replaced her on which she said, “I was told to pack them, but no obviously when Sarah Taylor played in the ODIs and then Jones has unfortunately fallen ill yesterday. So, I have been doing a little bit of practice, but certainly didn’t want to get gloves out on this tour having two world-class wicketkeepers in the England shirt but it is always good fun when you get a chance.”
Also referring to the crowd Beaumont said, “It’s amazing to play in front of such a big crowd. They were supporting India, but they were also supporting good cricket and great to see so many people coming. It’s really annoying actually when you are trying to move the field and can’t hear anyone at all. It’s great to play in front of so many people and great to have that support.”
England will play India in the 2nd T20I on 7 March.