Nagarajan Niranjana’s all-round show helps India Women edge ahead of England Women at Stumps on Day 1 of only Test at Wormsley
Nagarajan Niranjana (left) had a terrific day with both bat and ball for India © Getty Images
By Shiamak Unwalla
Aug 13, 2014
India Women kept dominating in the post-Tea session of the one-off Test against England Women at Wormsley.Having bowled out England for a paltry 92, they started off quite securely with the bat, with openers Thirush Kamini and Smriti Mandhana scoring 40 runs before being separated. However, wickets kept tumbling after that, as Jenny Gunn
India started off after Tea in very good fashion, with both Thirush and Smriti scoring freely. However, they soon slipped from 40 for no loss to 64 for six thanks to an inspired spell from medium-pacer Jenny Gunn, whose figures read three for one at one point. She ended the day with excellent figures of four for 13 in 12 overs.
That India survived till Stumps without losing another wicket is thanks to their new ball pair of Nagarajan Niranjana and Jhulan Goswami, who battled for close to 17 overs to get to 87 for six, just five runs shy of England’s total. The pair were India’s ray of hope on a day that was excellent for pace bowling.
Earlier, it was Niranjana who started the slide in the first session with a marathon spell of 10 overs on the trot, taking four for 11 in the first session. In the second session, it was the turn of Shubhalakshmi Sharma to take the game away from England. Sharma, the right-arm medium pacer, took two wickets in two balls getting rid of Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole. Debutant Sonia Odedra hang in for a while before falling to Ekta Bisht, while No 11 Kate Cross was run out for just four to end the England innings eight runs short of triple figures.
Niranjana was absolutely unstoppable with the ball, as she bowled unchanged throughout the first session to end with remarkable figures of four for 11 in 10 overs. India won the toss and elected to field first in overcast conditions, and were vindicated almost immediately as Niranjana struck early, getting rid of Heather Knight with the score on one. She continued her march, removing Lauren Winfield for eight before getting the big fish, Charlotte Edwards, for just four. England were at this point 28 for three.
However, their woes did not end there, as Shikha Pandey got into the wickets column as well, accounting for the well-set Tammy Beaumont for 12. Niranjana was not yet finished though, as she got rid of Lydia Greenway in the penultimate over of the session to end with four wickets before Lunch.
Ultimately, it was a tremendous performance from the Indian bowlers — both with the ball and later with the bat — that ensured India held a clear advantage at Stumps on Day One.
England Women 92 (Sarah Taylor 30; Nagarajan Niranjana 4 for 19, Shubhalakshmi Sharma 2 for 12) lead India Women 87 for 6 (Smriti Mandhana 22, Thirush Kamini 17, Jhulan Goswami 13*, Nagarajan Niranjana 13*; Jenny Gunn 4 for 13) by 5 runs.
(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)