Taunton: An unbeaten fifty from Sophia Dunkley and a five-wicket haul by Kate Cross helped England beat India by 5 wickets in the second women’s ODI and take 2-0 unassailable lead in three-match series, here on late Wednesday night.
Asked to bat, India managed to post 221 in the 50 overs.
In reply, Lauren Winfield-Hill provided England a solid start by making 42 from 57 balls.
However, Tammy Beaumont and skipper Heather Knight (both making 10) fell at the other end to Jhulan Goswami and Poonam Yadav respectively.
Veteran pacer Goswami considered just 39 runs in her 10 overs quota and took one wicket, while Shikha Pandey (1/37) also kept things tight for the batters. In spite of this, England timed their assault, as Amy Jones (28 from 34 balls) supported Dunkley to hand her team control of the match.
Taking guard at 92/4, newcomer Dunkley stamped her authority on the match with five fours and a six, finishing on 73 from 81 balls.
Dunkley and all-rounder Katherine Brunt controlled the latter stages of the match. The pair brought the required run rate to under four an over, and took the sting out of the match
They teamed up in a partnership of 92, completing the England chase with 15 balls to spare.
Earlier, India got off to an ideal start, with young batter Shafali Verma combining well with Smriti Mandhana to put on 56 for the opening wicket.
However, India couldn’t build on that foundation. Mandhana was dismissed for a 30-ball 22 in the 12th over, and that triggered a slide in the Indian line-up.
Jemimah Rodrigues, the new batter, fell for 8 before Verma followed suit in the 17th over. Verma looked good for a maiden ODI half-century, but she fell six short of the milestone.
Medium-pacer Kate Cross was the pick of England bowlers. She picked two of the first three wickets to fall, and then ran through the middle-order to end with a second five-wicket haul in ODIs.
It was captain Mithali Raj’s 92-ball 59 knock which kept the Indian innings moving, even as wickets fell at the other end.
Late cameos from Jhulan Goswami (run-a-ball 19*) and Poonam Yadav (10 off 15) were also valuable as India posted a fighting total.
The teams now travel to Worcester, with the third match to be played on Saturday.