The return of Katherine Brunt will strengthen Yorkshire Diamonds. ©ICC

Katherine Brunt’s 5 wicket haul toppled India’s wish for a clean sweep. Despite Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut’s 129 runs stand, India lost the third ODI at Wankhede Stadium.

India won the toss and chose to bat first. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad got a chance as Ekta Bisht made her way out in the third ODI. On the other side, England replaced Danielle Wyatt with the injured Ecclestone in their XI.

India lost Rodrigues on the second ball of the match on a duck to Brunt. Punam Raut walked onto the crease to support Smriti Mandhana in her 50th ODI. Raut played a watchful and supporting inning to built up a partnership of 129. India looked in good hands as Mandhana completed her 66 runs inning including eight boundaries and one six but in the 29th over Brunt changed the scenes as Mandhana lost her wicket, followed by Raut in the same over who had also scored a half century. India was left with two new batters and Meshram got out on duck again as Brunt picked up her 4th wicket. Mithali Raj got out with a massive inside edge and caught behind by Sarah Taylor to register her 5th five wicket haul.

In the subsequent over, Taniya Bhatia fell for a duck to Anya Shrubsole. Deepti Sharma went on to make an unbeaten 27 to elevate India’s innings. Shikha Pandey chipped in a few runs to support Sharma to a 2nd highest 8th wicket ODI stand of 47 runs against England.

Katherine Brunt finished with 10-2-28-5, England women’s 3rd best ODI figures against India. India looked on a massive total until Brunt’s spell tarnished them.

Although, India’s strength throughout the series has been its bowling unit they could stop Wyatt to steal away the show. Jhulan Goswami started off the inning conceiving a few boundaries of Jones. She picked Jones up in her third over as she hit it high off the ground and got picked up by Mandhana. Soon after, Goswami picked up the consecutive wickets of Winfield and Beaumont.

Deepti Sharma picked up Sciver in the subsequent over, and Taylor lost her wicket cheaply to Pandey and England’s score read 49/5 in 15 overs. After which, Heather Knight and Wyatt built a steady partnership of 69 runs. Knight lost her wicket to Poonam Yadav three short of a half-century. Wyatt stood tall for her 56 and made another stand with Georgia Elwiss of 56. Elwiss and Brunt held the ground but Poonam Yadav bowled the second last over and picked up Katherine Brunt. Shrubsole ended the match with a boundary as England won by 2 wickets.

“I think it’s been a really tough tour up until now. India has played brilliantly, they’ve adapted to their conditions best. But we showed a lot of character, even while losing games, so we’ve got a lot to be proud of. Happy to get one win. There was a little bit of seam and nip early on. I worked on moving it. It seems to have paid off for me,” said Katherine Brunt, Player of the match.

“Today was all about fighting for us, it was all about showing character,” said Heather Knight.

Although India lost the match but they won the series 2-1 against England. Mithali Raj said during the post-match presentation, “Next series we should do something before the third ODI because we’ve been consistent in losing the third ODI in every series!”

Smriti Mandhana was named the Player of the series for her 153 runs and finished as the leading run-getter. She is the captain of T20I series on which she said, “It’s been quite good, the last couple of months I’ve been timing the ball well. Whenever I go out to bat I feel I need to contribute to the team winning. The more the responsibility, the better. I think captaincy (in the T20Is) might help me not throw my wicket away.”  

India will play England in a T20I series starting March 4 in Guwahati.

Brief Score: India 205/8 (Smriti Mandhana 66; Katherine Brunt 5/28) lost to England 208/8 (Daniel Wyatt 56; Jhulan Goswami 3/41) by 2 wickets (with 7 balls remaining).