Smriti Mandhana scored a scratchy run-a-ball 48 but that was enough to earn India a consolation five-wicket win against England in the third and final women's T20I here on Sunday.
England won the three-match series 2-1. England made 126 all out in 20 overs. India replied with 130/5 in 19 overs.
Batting first, captain Heather Knight's 52 ensured a modest 126 for England with India spinners — left-arm orthodox Saika Ishaque and offie Shreyanka Patil — scalping three wickets each. For
During India's chase, Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues (29 off 33 balls) added 57 for the second wicket. Mandhana hit five fours and two sixes.
Smriti Mandhana on Sunday. PTI photo
Rookie spinners Saika and Shreyanka made their first real impression in top flight cricket.
Saika (4-0-22-3) looked in her elements while Shreyanka produced a fabulous 3/19 as England lost three wickets during Powerplay and were reduced to 76/8 in the 15th over.
But Knight joined forces with No. 10 Charlie Dean (16) to put on crucial 50 runs for the ninth wicket to give the England bowlers something to defend.
Knight soaked the pressure well and hung around to unleash a late charge which had her finishing at 52 off 42 balls with three sixes and as many fours.
But England’s decision to bat first seemed to have backfired completely as the two Indian spinners shared six wickets between them in the middle overs, after Renuka Singh Thakur’s (2/23) early inroads set the tone for the home side.
Renuka provided India the first breakthrough early on for the third time in as many games when she got one to nip back in and beat the defence of Maia Bouchier (0).
Renuka struck again in her next over to have the dangerous-looking Sophia Dunkley (11) caught by Patil at point for her second wicket.
An inspired bowling change had captain Harmanpreet Kaur summoning Saika. The spinner from Bengal responded with the wicket of the struggling Alice Capsey (7 off 16 balls) in the sixth over.
England were 32/3 at that stage and a slow recovery saw them crawling to 62/3 halfway through the innings.
Saika struck a double blow in the 12th over to spoil England's plans. The left-arm spinner first had Amy Jones (25) caught at deep midwicket and on the next delivery, she cleaned up Danielle Gibson (0) to leave England reeling at 67/5.
The regular rotation of bowlers seemed to be working for India as Shryeanka got into the mix next. She removed Bess Heath in the 13th over to claim her first wicket. Amanjot Kaur took a fine diving catch at backward point for the sixth wicket. England’s slide continued as Shreyanka trapped Freya Kemp (0) off the very next delivery.
Amanjot was also among wickets as she picked up two in the last over, including the scalp of Knight.
Despite losing the series, India skipper Harmanpreet sounded optimistic. "Well, if I talk about all the games, we improved day by day. We needed a game plan. The more we play, the better we will be," she said after the game.
Shreyanka was adjudged Player of the Match.