Wyatt blasts England to record-breaking win

Women's Cricket
Wyatt

A magnificent hundred from Danielle Wyatt saw England clinch a high-scoring thriller in their Tri-series T20I against India in Mumbai.

Her 64-ball 124 made up an incredible 62.3 percent of her team’s total of 199/3 as England won by seven wickets, chasing down India’s 198/4 in 18.4 overs.

If England’s total was based largely on an individual’s contribution, India’s was built on half-centuries from Mithali Raj (53 off 43) and the belligerent Smriti Mandhana (76 off 40), along with strong hands from Harmanpreet Kaur (30 off 22) and Pooja Vastrakar (22 off 10).

At the end of the first innings, India would have been confident of registering their first victory of the tri-series, having lost to Australia in the series opener. However, Wyatt put paid to those hopes.

Wyatt broke a flurry of records: Her 124 was the second highest score in a Women’s Twenty20 International, and England’s total was the highest in a chase in the format, all of which meant Mandhana’s 25-ball half-century – the fastest by a India Women player – was overshadowed.

Victory meant England lead the standings in the triangular series with two wins in as many matches, while India are bottom of the table, yet to open their account.

Chasing a big total, Wyatt didn’t waste time, hammering three fours in the very first over from Jhulan Goswami. It was a sign of things to come, and there was no stopping Wyatt as she made sure the wicket of Bryony Smith (15) didn’t allow India a way back in.

With Tammy Beaumont for company, Wyatt added 96 runs for the second wicket, during a period of play in which there were boundaries nearly every over. By the time that stand was broken, when Beaumont holed out for a 23-ball 35 off Deepti Sharma, England needed 39 runs off the final five overs.

With Wyatt stroking the ball as well as she was, the target was reached with ease, even though she holed out off Deepti Sharma in the 17th over. It was too little too late for India, as Heather Knight pushed a single to mid-wicket to bring up the winning runs.

Earlier, the Indian openers dovetailed beautifully, putting on a 129-run stand for the opening wicket. After a cautious start in the first two overs, Mandhana got going in the fourth over off Katie George, picking 20 runs. She soon reached her half-century off just 25 balls – the fastest ever in a T20I for India – and India crossed the 100-run mark in quick time.

Mandhana holed out off Natalie Sciver in the 13th over, and Raj followed suit, shortly after scoring her own half-century off 40 balls. When Veda Krishnamurthy was dismissed for nought, England seemed to have applied the brakes sufficiently, but Kaur took charge and hammered four boundaries, including a six, before being bowled off Tash Farrant.

Vastrakar then hit four boundaires off the final over to boost the total. Had it not been for Wyatt, it might have been more than sufficient.

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