ENG-W vs IND-W, ODIs, 2022: Harmanpreet stamps mark on India’s 1st ODI series win in Eng in 23 years
India Women tour of England 2022: Harmanpreet Kaur's 143 off 111 in second ODI hand over India first ODI series win in England in 23 years. India Women lead three-match ODI series against England Women by 2-0.
The last time when India Women won a bilateral One Day International (ODI) series in England, the year was 1999 and it was their maiden win there. Since then, India have played five bilateral ODI series and a one-off one-dayer against England in the latter’s home conditions, but they were never able to beat the opposition.
In the ongoing three-match ODI series against England Women, during the second game at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, when England’s Charlotte Dean was stumped against a loopy off-break delivery from Dayalan Hemalatha, emotions ran at high pitch amongst India’s players and the crowd; India Women had just locked their second ODI series win in England.
In 2002, a young girl from Nadia in Bengal named Jhulan Goswami made her debut in international cricket and after around 21 years of an illustrious career, Goswami is set to bid adieu to international cricket in the third ODI of the ongoing series at Lord’s in London.
India Women began ODI series in rocking style
Before the ODI leg, both the sides met each other in a three-match T20I series where England while playing some good cricket succeeded in clinching the series by a 2-1 margin. India won the second T20I game by eight wickets at the County Ground in Derby and that too was possible because of a superlative 53-ball 79 run knock from opener Smriti Mandhana that was arranged with 13 boundaries.
Unlike the T20I series, India began the ODI series on a high note as they comprehensively blew away England in the first game by seven wickets with almost 40 balls to spare, and again the left-handed India opener Mandhana coloured the evening with 91 runs in just 99 balls with 10 boundaries and one maximum. The best part of her innings was that she tried to play the shots more on her front foot rather than relying on the back foot.
“I would like to dedicate this medal to Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami),” Mandhana expressed at the end of the first ODI. “This entire series, we will be playing to dedicate it to Jhulu di.”
England looked clueless in front of India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in 2nd ODI
There is a unique connection between England’s grounds and splendid knocks from current India captain Harmanpreet Kaur. It will be hard for anyone to erase her magical innings of 171* against Australia from just 115 deliveries, with 20 boundaries and seven maximums, during the second semifinal of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 at the County Ground in Derby.
In the first game against England in the ongoing three-match ODI series, Harmanpreet Kaur blasted an unbeaten 74-run knock in just 94 balls that saw seven boundaries and one solitary six, which pushed India to comfortably overhaul England’s 227.
The story of the second ODI was totally different. Put into bat first at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, India made a decent start and when they were reduced to 66/2 in the 12th over, Harmanpreet Kaur walked out to the middle.
Harmanpreet took some time to get settled with the conditions and the pace of the pitch but the highlight of her innings was not leaving any chance of easy singles or doubles. She kept on rotating the strike which kept the scoreboard ticking along with putting pressure on England. With a huge six that was slog swept sitting on one knee, Kaur deposited her 18th ODI half-century in 64 balls.
After reaching that milestone, Kaur seemed to change gears and began to take on the opposition bowlers. She received full support from Harleen Deol who registered 58 runs in 72 balls with five boundaries and couple of gigantic sixes. After the fall of Deol’s wicket, Kaur changed her approach and started to smack the bowlers all around the park.
Last three overs produced 62 runs
Even after all the hammering, India could reach only 271/5 at the end of 47 overs. What took place over the course of the next 18 legal balls broke England bowlers’ confidence; they looked totally clueless about their plans during that particular phase.
The first ball of the 48th over was flicked by Deepti Sharma behind square for a boundary post which Freya Kemp delivered two consecutive wide balls. The third legal delivery of that over was lifted into the extra cover orbit beyond the boundary with a crunching inside out lofted shot by Harmanpreet Kaur. The under-pressure Kemp again delivered two back-to-back wide balls. The fourth and fifth legal deliveries of the same over were again smacked to the boundary, as India collected 26 runs from the 48th over to bring up their highest ODI score against England.
Kaur then took on left-arm orthodox bowler Sophie Ecclestone; the India skipper flicked a straight ball in the gap between deep square and deep mid-wicket for a boundary before hammering a leg-sided ball over the deep mid-wicket fence for a maximum. She bent her knee before lifting the ball over extra cover with ease to gain 17 runs from the 49th over.
Freya Kemp even after going for 26 runs in her last over, was given the responsibility to finish the first innings. The second ball of the that over was clubbed by Harmanpreet over extra cover with authority for a six. The next three deliveries were smashed for three consecutive boundaries to three different parts of the ground; the first one went in the gap through extra cover while the second one was swatted into the gap between deep mid-wicket and long-on, before the third one was slapped through deep point into the fence.
“I just wanted to spend some time on the wicket because today’s wicket wasn’t easy to bat on in the first innings,” Kaur who recorded an unbeaten 143 runs in 111 balls thanks to her 18 boundaries and four maximums, revealed. “Being there is more important because I know if I take more balls initially, I can easily cover up in the end.”
“We knew even if we scored 300, it could be chasable given England’s batting line-up, that’s why we were looking for maximum runs in the last five-six overs,” Kaur expressed at the end of the game. “Whoever was coming in to bat with me, I was giving them the message that if they could find boundaries, fine, otherwise keep rotating the strike; scoring 300 was very important for us.”
Records were broken and new ones were made
1. India’s 333/5 in the second ODI game in Canterbury against England is their second-highest total in Women’s ODIs. Harmanpreet Kaur’s score of 143* in that game is now the highest score by an India captain in Women’s ODIs.
2. India are only the second team to win an ODI series in England in the last 15 years after Australia, who won in 2015 and 2019. With five ODI hundreds for Harmanpreet, she has the joint second-most centuries for India Women along with Smriti Mandhana’s five tons, as Mithali Raj sits at the top of the ladder with seven centuries.
3. Kaur’s acceleration in the second ODI was second to none; she scored her first fifty at a strike rate of 81.25, while the second one came in 36 balls at a strike rate of 133.33; after her century, she broke the shell to hammer at a strike rate of 390.91.
With India having already bagged the ODI series in the first two games, it is a great opportunity for the team to offer the best farewell to veteran Jhulan Goswami who will play her last game when India take on England on September 24 at Lord’s in London.