August 5, 2021, 1:26

England Women vs India Women: Heather Knight’s side thwarted by tourists as Test drawn in Bristol

England Women vs India Women: Heather Knight’s side thwarted by tourists as Test drawn in Bristol

Sneh Rana hit an unbeaten 80 as India battled to a dr5aw in the one-off Test against England

England Women were forced to settle for a draw in the one-off Test against India in Bristol as Sneh Rana’s debut fifty and an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 104 saw the tourists recover from a big collapse to bat out the fourth and final day.

India had tumbled from 171-2 to 199-7, losing five wickets for 28 runs, once another debutant Deepti Sharma (54) had chopped Sophie Ecclestone (4-118) onto her stumps on the stroke of lunch.

The away side were just 34 runs ahead in the second session when Harmanpreet Kaur was seventh out but Rana (80no) added 41 with Shikha Pandey (18) and, then from 240-8, put on a century stand with Taniya Bhatia (44no) as India foiled Heather Knight’s hosts having been asked to follow-on a day earlier.

  • Scorecard: England Women vs India Women
  • Live cricket on Sky Sports

England and India shared the first four points on offer in the multi-format series, which will now continue with three one-day internationals, starting at Bristol next Sunday, and as many T20 internationals.

Sophie Ecclestone took four wickets for England

England were on a roll in the middle of the day once Sharma’s composed innings and 72-run third-wicket partnership with Punam Raut ended in kamikaze style as she heaved across the line while facing Ecclestone.

Mithali Raj (4) and Raut (39) then fell four runs later with the score on 175 – captain Raj bowled by Ecclestone while looking to dab down to third man and Raut pulling a Nat Sciver bouncer to Ecclestone at square leg.

Pooja Vastrakar (12) and Harmanpreet (8) then departed before India had put 200 on the board as they played poor strokes to be bowled by Heather Knight and caught behind off Ecclestone respectively – Kaur top-edging a sweep and offering up an easy catch for wicketkeeper Amy Jones.

Katherine Brunt produces a spectacular catch at long-on to send India’s Shafali Verma walking on 63

Jones’ excellent diving grab then snapped the Rana-Pandey partnership shortly before tea, the keeper leaping past leg stump to collect the nick Sciver – whose 16 overs were taken for just 21 runs – had induced from Pandey.

Buoyed by that strike, England would have hoped to polish off the innings quickly upon the restart, which began with India 243-8 and ahead by just 78.

But Knight’s side were thwarted by Rana, who became the third India debutant in the game to score a fifty after Shafali Verma (twice) and Sharma.

The right-hander tucked into anything errant from the England bowlers, looking particularly strong through the off-side, as she batted with intent under gloomy skies.

Deepti Sharma hacked wildly at Ecclestone and edged back onto her stumps on the stroke of lunch

Bhatia, who headed to the crease on a pair, endured more nervy moments but became more confident as the innings progressed against a game but tiring England attack.

Rana’s boundary off Georgia Elwiss late in the day was the last piece of action before a draw was called, with India having reached 344-8.

The final day was lit up in the morning when Katherine Brunt took a spectacular diving catch at long-on to dismiss Verma off an Ecclestone full toss.

That wicket seemed to put in England control and they were majorly in charge later on after taking five wickets for 28 runs but Rana held firm to ensure the shares were spoiled.

Watch the first one-day international between England Women and India Women, from Bristol, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Sunday, June 27.


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