India is on track to secure their first win in a women’s Test match in nine years, following a collapse by the England team.
India is currently in a favorable position to achieve their first Test win in nine years. They successfully dismissed England for 136 runs and have since amassed a lead of 478 runs, with two days remaining in the match.
Deepti Sharma, the off-spinner, achieved a remarkable five-wicket haul in just 33 balls during the Test match. She bowled four maiden overs and gave away only seven runs in her 5.3 overs. This led to England’s sudden collapse from 108 for three to being all out for 136.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of India, chose not to make England follow-on and by the end of the day, England had limited India to a score of 186 for six. The 22-year-old off spinner, Charlie Dean, performed well with four wickets for 68 runs in only her second Test. Despite this, India’s Kaur, who remained unbeaten at 44 overnight, gives the team confidence that they will secure a win soon.
Nat Sciver-Brunt expressed that there were some exhausted players both physically and mentally. Test cricket can be challenging as the game can shift rapidly while fielding. It was a day full of fluctuations.
Heather Knight, the captain of England, and their coach Jon Lewis, made the decision to have an additional seamer instead of Alice Capsey, who is an all-rounder with off-spinning abilities. They observed with serious expressions as Sharma skillfully utilized the pitch to produce significant turn. By landing the ball outside the off stump and spinning it towards the right-handed batsmen, Sharma was able to dismiss the remaining English players.
Sciver-Brunt previously scored a half-century, but England’s chances of a comeback were ruined when Sneh Rana spun the ball more than Sharma, causing the 31-year-old’s bat to miss and her off stump to be knocked over.
The Indians’ exceptional fielding on the ground helped the spinners, as Jemimah Rodrigues successfully caught a ball at short leg to dismiss Danni Wyatt, and Shafali Verma caught another at leg slip that had bounced off Smriti Mandhana’s helmet and led to the dismissal of Amy Jones.
However, the most crucial action was performed by Pooja Vastrakar, who made a precise throw from midwicket to dismiss Tammy Beaumont, who had scored a double-century in the Ashes, by a narrow margin of one yard. At the time, Beaumont had only scored 10 runs.
Renuka Singh had a moment of celebration as she took her first Test wicket and continued to dominate Sophia Dunkley, who had been dismissed by Singh three times in the T20 series. Dunkley was bowled by Singh’s inswinger. The decision of Knight and Lewis to move her up in the batting order, due to Emma Lamb’s back injury, seemed unwise and ultimately led to Dunkley’s downfall. It could be compared to sacrificing a helpless lamb.
“It seemed like a rather lengthy afternoon,” Sciver-Brunt confessed. “The condition of the pitch worsened and there were some less than ideal movements.”
The bowlers are causing us to feel uncertain in our approach. When wickets are taken, India is known for creating a lot of commotion and disorder, so we must learn to handle that pressure as batters.
England got off to a strong start on the day by efficiently ending India’s first inning. The home team only managed to add 18 runs to their previous total while also losing their final three wickets.
During her four-over spell, Lauren Bell was able to find the perfect spot and was able to take the wicket of Sharma. Sharma attempted to defend a swinging ball but ended up sending an edge to Sophie Ecclestone at first slip. While Beaumont struggled with a simple catch at silly point, Ecclestone quickly took care of Singh with the following ball. She turned the ball sharply and hit Singh’s off stump. In the next over, Ecclestone also caught Rajeshwari Gayakwad, effectively ending the innings.
India had already achieved their highest score in women’s Tests. Despite the pressure, England further intensified their dire situation when Knight dropped Verma at first slip with zero runs. This costly mistake resulted in the Indian openers scoring 50 runs in just 11 overs, putting the match even further out of England’s grasp.