England beaten in final match of T20 series as India claim consolation victory
England suffered a five-wicket defeat in the final match of their T20 series with India as the hosts claimed a consolation victory at the Wankhede Stadium.
India had lost the opening two games of the three-match series, but the home batters kept their nerve to overhaul England’s total of 126 with six balls to spare.
Smriti Mandhana (48) and Jemimah Rodrigues (29) laid the foundations of India’s reply as England kept chipping away at the home side’s batting to stay in the contest.
Freya Kemp (two for 24) and Sophie Ecclestone (two for 43) shared four wickets but the latter was more expensive than usual.
Ecclestone bowled Richa Ghosh to leave India needing 11 runs from as many balls to delight the home crowd.
England might have felt they had a chance at that stage, but Amanjot Kaur struck two boundaries through the covers to see India home.
Heather Knight and Amy Jones repaired an England innings which had run into early trouble at 26 for three.
Captain Knight made 52 from 42 balls, with three fours and three sixes, while Jones contributed 21 in a fourth-wicket partnership of 41.
Tail-ender Charlie Dean (16 not out) – who shared a record England T20 ninth-wicket partnership of 50 with Knight – and opener Sophia Dunkley (11) were the only other batters to reach double figures.
Knight departed to the penultimate ball of the innings, holing out to long-on to become the ninth batter to be dismissed.
England lost their last wicket to the final ball and India were able to boost their confidence before the two sides start their Test match on Thursday.
On losing the final game, Knight told TNT Sports: “It was a really good learning. We obviously decided to rest a few players and expose some of our younger players, I thought that was brilliant.
“The crowd were again really noisy and just having that composure will be a really good learning for those younger players coming in.
“India bowled very well and made it pretty tricky for us. We managed to get to a total that was sub-par in the game and did some really good stuff with the ball.
“Overall, I’m really happy with the series. I feel we’ve learned a lot, played in slightly different conditions and we’ve adapted to that quite nicely.”
Nat Sciver-Brunt, who was rested for the final game, was named player of the series after scoring 93 runs and taking a couple of wickets in the first two matches.
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