Deepti Sharma’s all-round excellence powered the Indian Eves to a first Test win in nine years against England by 347 runs. The resounding victory at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai on December 16, also saw the Indian women registering their biggest victory in red-ball cricket.
After winning the toss, India decided to bat first. The batters chipped in with useful contributions on Day 1, helping the team put 428 on the scoreboard in the first innings. While none of the Indian batters could score a century in their only innings, they were involved in a few century partnerships, eventually helping them clinch a landmark win.
Shubha Satheesh (69 runs from 76 balls), Jemimah Rodrigues (68 runs from 99 balls), Yastika Bhatia (66 runs from 88 balls), and Deepti Sharma (67 runs from 113 balls) were the standout batters for India in their only innings.
Lauren Bell and Sophie Ecclestone were the pick of the bowlers for England, with both bagging three wickets each. The Englishwomen did not look comfortable in their first inning in the face of some disciplined and skillful bowling by the Indian bowlers. Deepti Sharma led the Indian attack with a five-wicket haul, helping the hosts take a massive 292-run lead.
Nat Sciver-Brunt (59 runs from 70 balls) was the only standout batter for England in their first inning. None else could make an impression in the face of sustained pressure from the Indian bowlers.
Apart from Deepti, who starred with a five-for, Sneh Rana also picked up two wickets. Opening bowlers Renuka Singh and Pooja Vastrakar also picked up a wicket each.
Before the start of India’s second inning, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur had the option of enforcing the follow-on but she added she chose to add a few handy runs instead, on Day 2.
The hosts eventually set the visitors an imposing target of 479 for victory. In India’s second inning, Harmanpreet Kaur (44 runs from 67 balls) and Rodrigues (27 runs from 29 balls) made some crucial runs to help India set a steep target for the visitors.
Charlie Dean prevailed in the second inning as she bagged four wickets in her 19-over spell. Ecclestone picked up two wickets. However, England failed to improve on their first-innings effort, with pacer Pooja Vastrakar scalping three wickets.
Deepti came up with the goods again, picking up four wickets to help the hosts skittle out the visitors for 131 in 27.3 overs. In England’s second inning, no batter could play a promising inning. Skipper Heather Knight (21 runs from 20 balls) scored the most runs among other batters.
Apart from Vastrakar and Deepti, Rajeshwari Gayakwad also picked up two wickets for the hosts. Deepti was named the ‘Player of the Match’ for her brilliant all-round performance. She scored 87 runs and took 9 wickets in the match.
(with inputs from ANI)