Renuka Singh’s maiden T20I five-wicket haul restricted England to 151/7 against India at St George’s Park in a crucial group B clash on Saturday.
Renuka Singh validated India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s decision to bowl after the pacer struck thrice inside the powerplay to jolt the England innings.
England were off to a poor start with Renuka dismissing Danielle Wyatt in the first over. Richa Ghosh completed a superb catch behind the wickets after Wyatt’s outside edge flew to the right of the keeper, getting rid of the opener for a duck.
She struck again in her second over to get rid of youngster Alice Capsey for 3(6). The 18-year-old was looking to play the flick with the ball tailing in but played all around it to miss the ball as it crashed into the stumps.
Nat Sciver Brunt and Sophia Dunkley did strike some boundaries but Renuaka returned for her third over to rattle the stumps of Dunkley. The right-hander was looking to play a lofted cover drive but missed the ball to lose her wicket. She was dismissed for 10(11). The England team ended their power play at 37/3.
The English team recovered through Nat Sciver and skipper Heather Knight after they stitched a 51-run stand for the fourth wicket. Sciver took the attack to the Indian bowlers as she was able to find the boundaries regularly.
Experienced bowler Shikha Pandey struck in her third over to dismiss England skipper Knight for 28(23) to break her partnership with Sciver which looked threatening.
Sciver carried on her aggressive style of play bringing up her 11th T20I fifty in the 17th over but fell soon after, bringing Sophie Ecclestone to the crease.
Amy Jones put on the finishing touches as she raced to a quickfire 40 off just 27 balls. England were able to score 17 runs in the 19th over with Jones and Ecclestone smashing a six each to Deepti Sharma.
However, Renuka Singh returned to bowl the final over of the English inning, scalping two wickets to complete her maiden fifer in T20Is.
England ended their inning at 151/7, setting India a fighting total.
Brief Score: England 151/7 (Nat Sciver Brunt 50, Amy Jones 40; Renuka Singh 5-15) vs India (ANI)