Knight
Heather Knight’s 3 for 15 powered England to a 2-wicket victory over India. © Getty Images

England thump India by 2 wickets in an edge-of-the seat thriller at the spectacular Dharamsala. It was cracker of a contest as both teams refused to give up even in crunch situations. It’s India’s second consecutive loss by a small margin, making their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals bleak. On the other hand, England Women are now the table-toppers of Group B and are certain to qualify for the knockouts. In retrospect, England captain Charlotte Edwards won the toss and elected to bowl first. Like witnessed in the previous matches, the Dharamsala pitch appeared on the slower side. And, like Pakistan, Charlotte wanted to restrict India to a paltry total and likewise strategise the chase. FULL SCORECARD: India Women vs England Women, Live Score, Match 11, Super 10 Group B

India star batter and captain Mithali Raj decided to bat at no. 3, letting Vellaswammy Vanitha and Smriti Mandhana open the innings. England bowlers made full use of the conditions and bowled slower through the air. They contained the onslaught by setting up fielders on the off-side and bowled accordingly. Indian batters tried to shuffle and play through leg side but failed to do so consistently. Mithali played smart cricket by paddle-sweeping few and get the scoreboard ticking. However, it was Veda Krishnamurthy’s late onslaught that brought India to 90 for 8 in 20 overs. LIVE BLOG: India Women vs England Women, Live Score, Match 11, Super 10 Group B

Indian bowlers started off the chase by sending English captain Charlotte back to the dug out in the third over. But Sarah Taylor made sure her team doesn’t bog down by the early blow. She smacked two fours of Ekta Bisht’s over and kept the scoreboard ticking. Tammy Beaumont soon joined the party and plundered a hat-trick of fours off Harmanpreet Kaur before Kaur took consecutive wickets in the same over. However, she missed a hat-trick in the next over, but managed to mount pressure on the English batters. It was Kaur’s spell of 2 for 22 that kept India’s hopes alive.

The English batsmen were in total control of the chase. But it was Ekta Bisht’s twin strikes that put the English batters on the back foot. She was unlucky to miss the hat-trick but took wicket the very next ball as Sciver holed out one to Mithali.

England were 79 for 6 when they needed only 12 off 30 balls. But the match had to get more dramatic as the Indians were electrifying in the field and ran out Wyatt and Brunt in 16th and 18th over respectively. India needed 2 wickets to win and England needed 4 runs to win.

Veda Krushnamurthy bowled five consecutive dot balls, but bowled a juicy full toss outside off and Shrubsole smashed it away for four.

This clash was more dramatic and spectacular than the Indo-Pak clash. ICC Women’s World T20 has left us startled on most occasions and it promises to surprise us even more, as the next games will be crucial for each and every side.

Brief scores:

England Women (Tommy Beaumont 20, Natalie Sciver 19, Heather Knight 3 for 15, Anya Shrubsole 2 for 12) beat India Women (Harmanpreet Kaur 26, Mithali Raj 20, Ekta Bisht 4 for 21, Harmanpreet Kaur 2 for 22) by 2 wickets

Player of the Match: Heather Knight