England women recorded an easy 38-run win in the first T20I match against India in Mumbai on Wednesday. The travelling side continued their dominance over India after an impressive all-round performance from the returning star Natalie Sciver-Brunt.
Returning to action for the first time since claiming Gold at the Asian Games in September, the Women in Blue struggled to match England's might at Wankhede Stadium. Youngsters Shreyanka Patil and Saika Ishaque made their debuts but it was an abysmal performance from senior figures Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.
Harmanpreet won the toss and elected to bowl first which gave an instant success. Renuka Singh dismissed Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey in the first over on back-to-back deliveries but Sciver-Brunt and Danni Wyatt pulled off a stunning comeback from the visiting side.
The duo added 138 runs for the third wicket with Wyatt scoring 75 runs off 47 balls and Sciver-Brunt top-scoring with 77 runs off 53 balls. Indian bowlers tried to make a late comeback but a quickfire cameo of 23 off nine balls from Amy Jones helped England post their biggest T20I total of 197/6 against India.
While chasing a huge total, India lost star batters Smirit and Jemimah Rodrigues in a powerplay over. Shafali Verma kept the game balanced for the majority of the play but England's bowlers kept taking timely wickets. Verma top-scored with 52 runs off 42 balls but no other batter managed to register a 30-plus knock.
The world no.1 bowler Sophie Ecclestone took three wickets for 15 to restrict India to a total of 159/6 in 20 overs. Sciver-Brunt bagged the Player of the Match award for her big fifty and for taking a wicket of Smriti Mandhana. Both teams will next clash in the second game of the series at the same venue on Saturday (December 9).
India Women Playing XI: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja, Pooja Vastrakar, Renuka Thakur Singh, Saika Ishaque
England Women Playing XI: Danielle Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Heather Knight (c), Amy Jones (wk), Freya Kemp, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Lauren Bell, Mahika Gaur