If the Indian Men’s team was staving off New Zealand in the WTC final in Southampton, the Women’s team was fighting for survival in the one-off Test in Bristol on Saturday. The day ended on a brilliant note for the Indian fans as both the teams did well eventually. It was more like a victory for the women’s team as they were on the mat early on the final day.
In the end, Sneh Rana, Shikha Pandey and Taniya Bhatia kept England at bay and managed to eke out a well-earned draw. Earlier, England declared their first innings at 396/9 after opting to bat first. In response, Shafali Verma (96) and Smriti Mandhana (78) added 167 runs for the opening wicket. But once the partnership was broken, India collapsed like a pack of cards.
They were bundled out for 231 runs and England enforced the follow-on as well. Shafali once again impressed with a half-century in the second innings but India collapsed again from 171/2 to 199/7. However, it was the debutant Rana who held one end with the tail to pull off a sensational draw.
Shafali Verma – The 17-year-old kid from India literally pummelled the England bowlers at will. Interestingly, among all the experienced batters from India, she looked most assured in the middle. She was unlucky not to get to a ton in the first innings and backed up the effort with a brilliant 63 in the second innings.
Sophie Ecclestone – The left-arm spinner is the world number one bowler in the limited-overs format and she excelled in Tests too. Ecclestone was the reason for India’s collapses in both the innings. She ended the match with the figures of 4/88 and 4/118 in the two innings respectively.
Sneh Rana – The debutant was at her best with her all-round abilities. She bowled brilliantly in the first innings returning with the figures of 4/131 and then came up with a match-saving effort in the second innings with the bat. When the chips were down, Rana scored an unbeaten 80 and rallied around the tail to help India eke out two points.
- Sneh Rana’s 80* is the third highest score in Women’s Tests while following on with Nadine Geroge (118) and Charlotte Edwards (105) occupying the top two spots.
- India batted for 121 overs in the second innings after being enforced the follow-on. This is the most they’ve batted while following on in Women’s Tests.
Both teams will now be involved in a three-match ODI series starting June 27.