Charlie Dean clinched career-best figures of four for 23 in the 50-over format as India were bowled out for a paltry 134 in a must-win league match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup at Bay Oval on Wednesday.
Captain Heather Knight’s decision to bowl first on a fresh pitch which looked dry paid off as India’s top and middle order just couldn’t get going. The defending champions bowled fuller, fielded well, took their catches and were bang-on with their run-outs.
Yastika Bhatia fetched India’s first boundary with a gentle push in the gap between mid-on and mid-wicket off Katherine Brunt. But Anya Shrubsole (two for 20) provided England with their first breakthrough as Bhatia pushed away from her body to a full inswinger and saw the ball take an inner edge to stumps. Bhatia thus became Shrubsole’s 100th wicket in the format.
Smriti Mandhana picked boundaries off a free-flowing drive and a quick short-arm jab. But England, with fuller lines and more proactive attitude in the field, continued to deal blows to India.
Mithali Raj’s lean run continued as she sliced straight to cover-point, giving Shrubsole her second wicket in power-play.
The pressure of dot balls preventing Deepti Sharma to get off the mark resulted in her running for a non-existent single by driving straight to mid-off. But Kate Cross, at mid-off, inflicted a direct hit, catching Sharma short of the crease for a 10-ball duck.
Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur restored normalcy for India with a 33-run partnership off 50 balls for the fourth wicket.
But Dean’s entry in the 17th over changed the situation as the off-spinner got rid of Harmanpreet and Sneh Rana in a double-wicket maiden over.
While Harmanpreet tried playing for the turn from a flighted delivery outside off-stump, the ball held its line and took an outer edge to keeper Amy Jones.
Rana’s promotion backfired as she went for an expansive drive, only to nick the ball behind to Jones.
Mandhana tried to hold one end for India but she missed a sweep off left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone and was trapped lbw in front of off-stump.
Dean soon picked up her third wicket as Pooja Vastrakar missed the sweep completely and was trapped plumb lbw after surviving a same call before in the over.
Richa Ghosh hit delightful boundaries on the front foot and back foot against Dean, Ecclestone and Cross. She got support from Jhulan Goswami, who made good use of the long handle in hammering Dean and Cross for boundaries.
Just as the 37-run partnership looked set to go big, Ghosh was run-out by Nat Sciver’s direct hit from mid-wicket despite making a good dive as replays showed her bat was centimetres above in air when the bails were disturbed.
Goswami sliced straight to backward point off Cross and Dean ended India’s misery by clean bowling Meghna Singh to take four wickets.
Brief Scores: India 134 all out in 36.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 35, Richa Ghosh 33; Charlie Dean 4/23, Anya Shrubsole 2/20) vs England.