England prevail in low-scoring thriller
England 126 for 8 (Gunn 34, Dabir 3-23) beat India 125 for 5 (Raj 30) by two wickets
With England needing six runs off the last over, with four wickets in hand, it looked like an easy win for the visitors in the first Twenty20 in Mumbai. But four balls later they needed two with two wickets in hand. A dot ball off the fifth meant two from the final ball. Nicky Shaw hit the last ball back to the bowler Gouher Sultana and scrambled a run. Sultana turned to run her out at the non-striker's end, missed, and with no one backing up the ball went for an overthrow and England won by two wickets. They had held their nerve better than India, but marginally so.
The England bowlers had done well to keep India to 125 and though their batsmen eased into the chase, the target was too low to cause any worries. In the last four overs they needed 30 with four wickets in hand. Jenny Gunn and Danielle Hazell scored 19 off the next two overs - Gunn hit the only six of the match when she lofted Jhulan Goswami over long-off and Hazell then pulled her for four to fine leg. They had required just 11 off the last two overs before the drama of the final over.
Gunn top scored with 34 and her 40-run seven-wicket partnership with Hazell came at more than seven an over. But before their stand, the captain Charlotte Edwards led the chase with a 32-ball 28 and added 37 with Beth Morgan (16) and 32 with Lydia Greenway (16). The rookie spinner Soniya Dabir, playing only her third international game, dismissed both Edwards - caught at midwicket - and Greenway - stumped. Dabir also had Laura Marsh stumped for 6 and ran out Danielle Wyatt for 0.
For India, Mithali Raj top scored with 30. After her dismissal, Priyanka Roy and Harmanpreet Kaur tried to increase the scoring rate, pulling and edging their way to 19 off 15 balls. England fielded well, keeping India under pressure with singles and twos. In the 18th over Ebony Rainford-Brent made a superb diving effort to stop a boundary. Then in the final a direct hit from Katherine Brunt ran out Harmanpreet, going for the second run. India were good in patches on the field.
Both teams have a lot of introspect after this match: England will have to question their near mess-up and the number of extras they conceded, while India, who did admirably to bounce back after posting an under-par score, will need to work harder on their fielding. Though they managed three run-outs and two stumpings in the match, the overthrows and misfields cost them.