Jhulan Goswami in action. ©CSA
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India extended England’s winless ODI streak in India by yet another series win as the experienced quartet of Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Smriti Mandhana and the skipper Mithali Raj shone in the 7-wicket win over England. India wrapped the series 2-0 with one game to spare.

After winning the first match by 66-runs, both sides met at the Wankhede Stadium for the 2nd of the three match ODI series. Both the teams made one change from their previous matches. India brought in Punam Raut for Harleen Deol and England replaced Danni Wyatt with Lauren Winfield. Knight won the toss for England and elected to bat.

Jones and Beaumont opened the innings for England. Shikha Pandey struck in the second over to remove Jones as she tried to flick but found safe hands of Bisht at square leg. Two overs later, Sarah Taylor played on Jhulan Goswami’s delivery and returned to the pavilion for 1. Goswami dealt another blow to the visitors as their skipper Knight was caught at covers by Rodrigues for 2. The visitors were rocked at 14-3 after 7 overs.

Beaumont and Sciver stopped the further slide by quickly adding 30 runs to the total in just 7 overs. Mithali’s masterstroke of keeping Shikha Pandey for 7th over in her opening spell paid off as Beaumont top edged Pandey’s delivery in the 14th over and Deepti Sharma completed an outstanding catch as she ran to her wrong side and dived forward. Beaumont departed for 20 and Winfield joined Sciver at the crease. The pair settle down quickly and rotated the strike. India’s bowling attack lacked any penetration or imagination and in no time the partnership reached to 49.

It looked as if only a run-out or a reckless shot could bring any wicket and that’s exactly what happened as Winfield batting at 28, tried to sweep Poonam Yadav’s flighted delivery and Smriti Mandhana completed an easy catch at deep mid-wicket. From 93-5, the guests slumped to 119-9 as Shikha Pandey trapped Elwiss and Brunt in the next over and Shrubsole and Ecclestone returned to pavilion soon after.

Sciver was batting at 46 when the final batter Hartley joined her at the crease. Sciver decided to launch the offensive while keeping Hartley away from the strike as much as possible. She brought her 11th half century in style and kept on attacking the bowlers. She added 42 runs for the final wicket with all runs coming from her bat. Hartley did her job by playing out 17 deliveries without troubling the scorers. Sciver’s resistance finally ended when Goswami dismissed her for 85.

Because of her efforts, England’s inning reached a somewhat respectable score of 161. For India, both pace bowlers Pandey and Goswami clinched 4 wickets each.

For India, Rodrigues and Mandhana started the chase of 162 to win. Rodrigues departed for 0 as she top edged Shrubsole’s delivery and Jones took a simple catch. Mandhana along with Raut kept adding runs to the total with running between the wickets and scoring boundaries on bad deliveries.

In the 13th over, Raut dispatched Ecclestone to the boundary to bring up the 50-run partnership for the 2nd wicket. The 74-run partnership was broken in the 19th over when Raut tried to glance Elwiss down the leg side and Sarah Taylor behind the stumps took the bails off in a flash.

At 74-2 India’s captain Mithali Raj arrived at the crease and eased any nervous thoughts about chasing the small target. Both batters maintained the same strategy of running ones and twos while punishing every bad delivery to the boundary whenever possible.

Mandhana dispatched Hartley over the long-off boundary to post the first six of the inning in the 23rd over. Five overs later, she pulled Ecclestone’s short delivery to the leg-side boundary to bring up her 15th ODI fifty. Mithali scored a boundary off Knight in the 31st over to register a 50-run partnership with Mandhana, which has been their third consecutive 50+ run ODI partnership.

Mandhana was trapped leg before wicket by Shrubsole on the first delivery after the drinks break to end the 66-run partnership. With just 22 more runs to win in 16 overs, Deepti Sharma joined the skipper batting at 32. Both the batters did not take any risk whatsoever and cruised to the target. Mithali won the game with a boundary off Elwiss in the 42nd over as she remained undefeated on 47.

Jhulan Goswami was declared player of the match for her 4 wicket haul for just 30 runs.

Both the sides will meet again at the same venue for the final ICC ODI Championship match on 28th February.

Brief Scores: England 161 all out (Sciver 85, Goswami 4-30, Pandey 4-18) lost to India 162-3 (Mandhana 63, Raj 47*, Shrubsole 2-23) by 7-wickets