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India women vs England women: Shafali, Smriti share huge stand but hosts strike back in last session

Shafali Verma (BCCI)

Bristol, June 17: India women openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma scripted a stunning opening stand but five quick wickets in the final hour of play brought England back in the game on Thursday (June 17).

England finished day two on top with five wickets in the final session despite a solid opening stand by the Indian openers. The visitors went to stumps at 187/5 with Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma unbeaten on four and zero respectively.

India were right on track to register a mammoth total but England struck late to snatch the driver's seat as the visitors lost four wickets in last half an hour. Punam Raut, skipper Mithali Raj, and Shikha Pandey all went cheaply as India wobbled just before the close of day's play.

Earlier, England, resuming from overnight 269/6, suffered a quick jolt as Jhulan Goswami dismissed Katherine Brunt. But Sophia Dunkley hit a fifty on Test debut as England scored their highest total against India.

The visitors declared at 396/9 registering their sixth-highest total in all women's Tests. Mandhana and Shafali then got India off to a great start as the duo scored 63 runs together without losing a wicket before Tea. In the third session, Mandhana and Shafali continued their fine form and first brought up the 100-run stand and then registered India Women's highest opening stand in Tests.

The duo passed the 153-run partnership between Gargi Banerji and Sandhya Agarwal against Australia in Mumbai in 1984. However, Shafali fell four runs short of a Test century and her wicket triggered a collapse. India collapsed from 167/0 to 183/5 before the second day's play concluded.

Brief Scores: England Women: 396/9 declared (Heather Knight 95, Sophia Dunkley 74, Sneh Rana 4-131) vs India Women: 187/5 (Smriti Mandhana 78, Shafali Verma 96; Heather Knight 2- 1)

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Story first published: Friday, June 18, 2021, 7:53 [IST]
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