England Women slipped to a five-wicket defeat to India in the opening game of their T20 tri-series in Australia, despite a player-of-the-match performance from their captain Heather Knight.
Knight cracked 67 from 44 balls – putting on 69 for the fifth wicket with Tammy Beaumont (37 off 27) – as England recovered from a poor start at 59-4 after 10 overs to post 147-7, batting first.
Knight (1-20) too took a wicket in her three over of off-spin but, guided by Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten 42 from 34 balls, India ultimately secured a comfortable opening win with three balls to spare.
England thought they had the dangerous Smriti Mandhana dismissed in the second over of India’s reply, nicking off to Katherine Brunt, but wicketkeeper Amy Jones didn’t have full control and grounded the ball to see the original decision rightly overturned.
Brunt (2-33) did end up taking two wickets and left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (1-24) was characteristically economical, but England couldn’t claim the key wicket of Indian captain Kaur.
Defeat leaves England bottom of the table but they’ll face Australia at the same Canberra venue on Saturday as they look to pick up their first win of the tournament.
Each team will play each other twice before a final between the top two teams in Melbourne on February 12.
England captain, Knight: “It was a close game and there were lots of little things we can identify and look to improve.
“You want to win every game you play but sometimes a game like that can be really valuable for picking up things that you want to work on.
“Tammy batted really well and I was happy with how we took the game so deep, it’s something we’ve got a pretty good record of doing.
“It wasn’t to be, in the end, but hopefully it’s a performance that can stand us in good stead going forward.”
Source : Sky Sports