Indian eves clinch series
By Abhijit Sen Gupta
HYDERABAD, JAN, 9. With a commanding display, India clinched the Hero Honda one-day international women's cricket series against England chalking up its third victory in the five-match series, by 113 runs at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here today.
Once again India underscored its superiority in all departments of the game. However, to be fair to the visiting side it must be mentioned that it is going through a transitional phase. England is trying out new players and is in the process of building a new team.
Not being familiar with the conditions prevailing in India, the English batswomen were all at sea when it came to dealing with slow spin. The Woman-of-the-Match award winner, Mithali Raj exploited this weakness to snap up three wickets for only four runs off 4.4 overs.
England skipper Clare Connor won the toss and decided to field. Again the new ball bowlers Lucy Pearson and Clare Taylor did a commendable job, keeping the run rate well under control. Opener Jaya Sharma was dismissed by Pearson, caught and bowled in the seventh over. Next to go was the other opener Anju Jain, caught at cover by Arran Thompson off Laura Newton. Skipper Anjum Chopra was then run out for 10.
Then, local lass Mithali Raj gradually brought about a change in the complexion of the innings. Just when India seemed to be getting bogged down, Mithali and Mamta Maben came together in a fruitful partnership of 62 runs for the fourth wicket in 16.2 overs. They began finding the gaps and the run rate picked up. The England fielding also faltered as the two flourished.
In the 40th over Mithali was dismissed for 39 off 73 balls and including four 4s. Arundhati Kirkire then came up with a superb knock, hitting the ball all around the wicket. She rattled up 35 runs in 36 balls hitting four 4s.
The hurricane partnership of 75 runs for the fifth wicket in the last 10 overs totally demoralised the England attack. The bowler who suffered most was Laura Newton. Her first spell of six overs had cost 17 runs but in her next spell of two overs she was hammered for 25 runs.
England struggled to meet the required run rate. Wickets fell at regular intervals and after 25 overs England was way below the target having scored only 51 for two. Then came a sudden collapse. With the score at 53, three wickets fell in the space of 11 balls. Nousheen al-Khadeer sent back Arran Thompson and Kate Lowe in one over, while in the next over opener Caroline Atkins, who had hung on grimly till then, was run out.
With the score 53 for five in 26.3 overs, England was clearly out of the reckoning. The bottom half of the England batting also failed to put up a fight and it was only a matter of time before the home team managed to wrap up the match and with it, the series.
India: Anju Jain c Arran Thompson b Laura Newton 8, Jaya Sharma c & b Lucy Pearson 9, Anjum Chopra (run out) 10, Mithali Raj c Caroline Atkins b Clare Connor 39, Mamta Maben (not out) 55, Arundhati Kirkire b Clare Taylor 35. Extras (b-2, lb-6, nb-2, w-25): 35. Total (for five wkts, 50 overs): 191.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-31, 3-54, 4- 116, 5-191.
England bowling: Pearson 10-2-26-1, Taylor 8-0-30-1, Holden 10-3-20-0, Newton 8-0-42-1, Wardlaw 4-1- 17-0, Connor 8-0-38-1, Spragg 2-0-10-0.
England: Caroline Atkins (run out) 20, Laura Spragg b Sunita Singh 6, Laura Newton c & b Deepa Kulkarni 0, Arran Thompson b Nousheen al-Khadeer 21, Kate Lowe c Anjum Chopra b Nousheen al-Khadeer 0, Clare Connor b Mithali Raj 15, Jane Cassar (run out) 3, Dawn Holden st Anju Jain b Mithali Raj 1, Helen Wardlaw b Mithali Raj 0, Clare Taylor c Mamta Maben b Sunita Singh 0, Lucy Pearson (not out) 4. Extras (lb-4, w-4): 8. Total (in 42.4 overs): 78.
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-28, 3-53, 4-53, 5-53, 6-66, 7-69, 8-69, 9-70.
India bowling: Jhulan Goswami 6-0-21-0, Sunita Singh 10-3-9-2, Deepa Kulkarni 5-2-3-1, Nousheen al- Khadeer 10-2-24-2, Neetu David 7-2-13-0, Mithali Raj 4.4-1-4-3.
The Indian women's cricket team which clinched the Hero Honda one-day international series against England, taking an unbeatable 3-0 lead in Hyderabad on Wednesday. - Photo: H. Satish
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