England 117 for 2 (Wyatt 47) beat India 113 (Mandhana 42, Ecclestone 4-14, Hazell 4-32) by eight wickets
While the series opener between India and England went down to the wire – the hosts toiled to victory in the final over by just one wicket – the second ODI was less evenly contested. India were bundled out for a mere 113, allowing England’s top four to canter to an eight-wicket victory to level the series.
The toss might have gone Mithali Raj’s way, but not much else did thereafter. India threw away an opportunity to post a big total after electing to bat first. What cost them more was that they failed to bat out all 50 overs. Spin twins Danielle Hazell and Sophie Ecclestone did the bulk of the damage, sharing eight wickets between them. Hazell dismissed top-order big guns Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur cheaply, while Ecclestone picked up Veda Krishnamurty and more importantly Smriti Mandhana, India’s highest run-scorer in the game.
Mandhana’s innings showed glimpses of fluency before an Ecclestone delivery knocked into her off stump, leaving India reeling at 80 for 5. Within two overs, that position had worsened to 81 for 7. As the spinners wreaked havoc, the only batsman who hung in there amidst the storm was Deepti Sharma. Her 25-run partnership with Jhulan Goswami meant India somehow crossed the three-figure mark.
Five – that’s how many maidens Ecclestone bowled in her quota of 10 overs. She displayed remarkable accuracy and ensured India’s lower-middle order did not tee off at any point. Finishing with career-best figures of 4 for 14 made Ecclestone a runaway choice for the Player of the Match award.
England’s no-nonsense approach in the chase was led by Danielle Wyatt. Her 43-ball 47 saw the visitors coast to 73 at the end of the 15th over. Ekta Bisht, however, denied Wyatt a fine half-century as the batsman yorked herself. In her next over, Bisht once again got a breakthrough for her team, her second victim being Amy Jones who departed without scoring. But that was all as far as India’s reasons to smile were concerned.
Skipper Heather Knight then joined Tammy Beaumont and the duo steered England to victory with 21 overs to spare. The captain smashed Poonam Yadav to the boundary to bring up the winning runs and make it 1-1 in the series.
On a track that spun and kept low, the spinners unsurprisingly headlined the game, taking all 11 wickets to fall to bowlers (there was also one run-out). Victory also kept England win with a chance of winning the three-match series – something they have never previously done in India. “I only found out this morning that we haven’t won a series here,” Knight said. “That will keep us motivated for the third game.”