Dunkley helps England take unassailable lead in ODI series against India
Taunton: Sophia Dunkley played an unbeaten knock of 73 runs off 81 balls to help England defeat India by five wickets in the second ODI of the three-match series here at the County Ground, Taunton on Wednesday.
With this win, England has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Both teams will now lock horns in the final ODI on Saturday.
Chasing 222, England got off to a bad start as opening batter Tammy Beaumont (10) was clean bowled by Jhulan Goswami in the fifth over of the innings. Heather Knight then joined Lauren Winfield Hill in the middle and the duo put on 32 runs for the second wicket, but this stand was broken in the 13th over as Poonam Yadav dismissed Knight (10).
Hill and Nat Sciver put on 34 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as England started to look comfortable, India got the breakthrough of Hill (42) as she was sent back to the pavilion by Shikha Pandey, reducing England to 82/3, still needing 140 more runs for the win.
Natalie Sciver (19) and Amy Allen Jones (28) played brief cameos but they were sent back to the pavilion quickly, reducing England to 133/5 in the 29th over. However, Sophia Dunkley and Katherine Brunt formed an unbeaten 92-run stand for the sixth wicket to take England home by five wickets. Dunkley and Brunt remained unbeaten on 73 and 33 respectively.
Earlier, Mithali Raj played a knock of 59 runs but Kate Cross's spell of 5-34 helped England bundle out India for 221 in the second ODI. Sent into bat first, India got off to a good start as openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma put on 48 runs inside the first ten overs. Shafali was given a reprieve in the seventh over as her catch was dropped by Lauren Winfield-Hill off the bowling of Katherine Brunt. England finally got the wicket of Mandhana (22) as she was clean bowled by Kate Cross and this brought Jemimah Rodrigues to the middle.
Rodrigues failed to impress with the bat as she managed to score just eight runs and she was sent packing by Cross in the 16th over of the innings. Soon after, Shafali (44) was stumped off the bowling of Sophie Ecclestone, and India was reduced to 77/3 in the 17th over. Harmanpreet Kaur then joined Mithali in the middle and the duo mixed caution with aggression to revive the Indian innings. Both batters managed to sc 68 runs for the fourth wicket, but as soon as the partnership started looking threatening, Harmanpreet (19) lost her wicket to Cross in the 34th over, reducing India to 145/4.
Deepti Sharma (5), Sneh Rana (5), Taniya Bhatia (2), and Shikha Pandey (2) all failed to impress with the bat, and India found itself in muddy waters after being reduced to 181/8 in the 44th over. Mithali (59) was also run-out in the 47th over. In the end, Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Yadav played knocks of 20 and 10 respectively to take India's score past the 220-run mark.
Brief Scores: India 221 all out (Mithali Raj 59, Shafali Verma 44, Kate Cross 5-34) vs England 225/5 (Sophia Dunkley 73*, Lauren Winfield Hill 42, Poonam Yadav 2-63). (ANI)