Report: Eng vs Ind (Women), WT20 2014

Indian eves lose despite Raj’s half-century

India Women lost their second consecutive match of the ICC World T20, to England Women by five wickets. While captain Mithali Raj scored a half-century, the rest of the batting line-up succumbed to Anya Shrubsole and Jenny Gunn without much resistance. Chasing the 96-run target, England got across the line with 11 balls to spare.

The wicket of India opener Smriti Mandhana, in the third over with just eight runs on the board, set the tone for the game. Shrubsole and Gunn wrecked the Indian line-up and restricted them to 95 for nine, after Raj opted to bat first. 57 of the 95 runs that India posted were scored by the captain, who opens the batting for her side. In fact, India's first run came off a wide as the Women in Blue continued to struggle to keep the scoreboard ticking. While the skipper scored at over run-a-ball, she received no support from the other end. With a contribution of 11 runs, Sravanthi Naidu was the only other Indian batsman to reach double-digit scores.

Shrubsole finished with 4-1-6-3, while Gunn claimed three for 15. Rebecca Grundy and Georgia Elwiss chipped in with a wicket each to help set the match in England’s favour.

Chasing the sub par total, Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards got off to a good start. But with England on 26 runs, Soniya Dabir removed Edwards in the fourth over. And in her next over, she got rid of Tammy Beaumont for a duck. 31 runs later, Taylor was sent back by Poonam Yadav.

Lydia Greenway and Natalie Sciver then came together and added 20 runs, before the latter was run out. Greenway followed her back with the team within sniffing distance of the target. Heather Knight and Gunn then took England to a comfortable win. 


2014 Deodhar Trophy SF – WZ vs CZ

West Zone muscle their way to final

With a 42-run win over Central Zone, West Zone have booked themselves a berth in the final of the BCCI Prof D B Deodhar Trophy, where they will face North Zone. Cheteshwar Pujara’s patient 96-ball 60 and Yusuf Pathan's57-ball 70 helped West Zoneto a modest total, after opting to bat first in the semi-final clash at Vizag. Defending 233, Dhawal Kulkarni then claimed important wickets at crucial times in the Central Zone innings to take the team to the finals. The pacer finished with a four-wicket haul in the clash as West Zone bowled the opposition out for 191.

Earlier, as he has often done this season, Anureet Singh gave Central Zone a wicket with the new ball. Parthiv Patel edged the pacer to the wicketkeeper and departed for one. Pujara then shaped the innings with a determined effort. Even as he lost partners at regular intervals, the WZ captain carefully built the innings. Kedar Devdhar was the first to depart. Stepping out to Karn Sharma for a big hit, he was caught at long-on; which ended the second-wicket stand for 51. The leg-spinner also removed Ambati Rayudu to leave West Zone on 77 for three. After adding just 12 runs to the total, Kedar Jadhav dragged Piyush Chawla on to the stumps. 

Yusuf Pathan, who then joined Pujara in the middle, bided his time before taking on the CZ attack. However, 19 runs later the West Zone captain's resistance was ended by Umesh Yadav for 60. 

With the team precariously placed on 124 for five, Yusuf shouldered the responsibility of scoring. He smashed Anureet for two successive boundaries in the next over and declared his intent. But once again there was insufficient support from the other end. ArpitVasvada swept Chawla and was caught by Karn at short fine-leg. But with Akshar Patel, Yusuf continued to take on the bowlers. He smashed Ishwar Pandey for a six over square-leg and picked two fours to collect 18 runs from the 46th over. However, as the innings approached its end, Akshar, who was looking good at the other end, was run out for 20. And in the second last over, Yusuf was sent back by Chawla while looking for yet another big hit. With two new batsmen at the crease, six runs were added off the last over helping West Zone finish with 233 for nine. 

Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat then claimed Faiz Fazal in the first over. The delivery took the outside edge of the opener’s bat and was caught by Parthiv Patel behind the stumps. JaspritBumrah dealt the second blow couple of overs later by dismissing Jalaj Saxena to leave Central Zone on 15 for two.Shalabh Shrivastava strove to keep his team in the match as he anchored the innings. But 42 runs later, Naman Ojha was on his way back to the dressing room as a Kulkarni delivery took the edge of the bat and went to the wicketkeeper. Mahesh Rawat was the next to return to the pavilion after offering a catch to short cover. 

At 73 for four at the end of 24 overs, Chawla came out to the middle. With Shrivastava he stitched a partnership to stem the fall of wickets and keep the team in the fray. Garnering 63 runs for the sixth wicket, the duo had taken the team within 98 runs of the target until Kulkarni struck to claim Shrivastava. A superb take by Parthiv diving to his right helped send the top-order batsman back for 65 and end the crucial partnership. And coming back after drinks, Kulkarni trapped Akshdeep Nath leg-before. Although Kulkarni provided vital breakthroughs at a critical juncture, he bowled the next ball wide and missed out on a hat-trick. Caught by the wicketkeeper in the next over off Unadkat, Karn was the next to be dismissed. In the following over, Kulkarni claimed the key wicket of Chawla for 41 and put West Zone in an advantageous position. 
Following the wicket-maiden Ishwar Pandey and Umesh Yadav collected 11 runs off Unadkat in the next. But the pair could only take the partnership to 21 runs before Pandey was claimed by Vasavada. The bowler then claimed Umesh Yadav, who had put up a late fight with 30 off 27 balls, to end the Central Zone’s campaign.