England lost the second Twenty20 at Hove in dramatic fashion, collapsing from 106-by-two to 140-by-eight to fall nine runs short of the goal set for them by India.
The hosts appeared to be sailing to a victory with both Tammy Beaumont, who made 59 of 50 balls, and Heather Knight (30 of 28 balls). Beaumont continues the dominance with the bat that has brought him half a century in all. three formats in this series.
But in a crucial 14th over thrown by Deepti Sharma, both batters were fired. First Beaumont got caught up front trying to make a sweep, her appeal to DRS simply confirmed the decision on the field.
Knight’s firing came in a more controversial way: She was declared exhausted at the non-front end after Sharma deflected Amy Jones’ return blow into the stumps. Knight, who had collided with Sharma when trying to get back into her crease, clearly felt that the appeal should have been withdrawn, but Harmanpreet Kaur refused and the decision stood.
England’s middle order collapsed in the fight to get over the line: Sophia Dunkley and Mady Villiers were left out, while Jones sent a simple square-leg catch and Katherine Brunt edged Poonam Yadav behind the stumps. Needing 14 from the final, it turned out too much for Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn.
“It’s really frustrating,” Knight said. “As a team, I think we were outstanding for most of the game. We were on a cruise, playing very simple cricket. For us as a team, we weren’t ruthless enough, we shouldn’t lose a game from that position. “
The T20 final in Chelmsford on Wednesday is now a must for England if they want to rise to the top in the multi-format series.
Previously, Sharma had also shown his talents with the bat, hitting 24 of 27 balls in a replay of his success on the ground in his later innings here in September 2019, helping seal the second Kia Super League title of Western Storm.
Sharma’s effort came after Shafali Verma (48 of 38 balls) crushed Brunt for five consecutive limits, while India captain Harmanpreet finally came to the series party with a 31 of 25 balls.
Brunt’s second over of the day cost England 21 runs as Verma threw, cut and drove fiercely. Most players respect the oldest statesman on a team: Verma is 17 and respect is not in his vocabulary.
England was forced to resort to two overs from Ecclestone in the power play; It almost worked, but Ecclestone couldn’t quite hold on when Verma, in 39, fiercely rejected her in the sixth. In the end, it was Freya Davies who broke the 70-run opening stand as Smriti Mandhana (20 of 16), who had thrown Glenn for six glorious six on six long balls earlier, led Villiers’ hands into coverage in the ninth.
Villiers then chimed in with Verma’s crucial window, who continued her troubling habit of missing a key milestone, and enraged Nat Sciver for long trying to bring out her half-century in style.
If at 72 by 2 India had the platform, they needed the intermediate order to make use of it, and Harmanpreet knew it: after dancing down the floor to Villiers from the start, sending the ball long for six, you could see it. visibly moving between balls. Racing hard with partner Sharma, the pair shared a 40-run position with 39 balls. It was crucial to the bottom line.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism