Dual victories for India’s women and men in cricket

By Kersi Meher-Homji 

This week has been victorious for Indian cricketers, women and men. As Virat Kohli’s men defeated England by 66 runs in the first One Day International (ODI) at Pune, Smriti Mandhana’s women beat South Africa by 10 wickets in the third Twenty20 International (T20I) at Lucknow.

Ladies first!

Teenager Shafali’s six appeal behind India’s comfortable triumph 

India had lost the first two T20I against South Africa but retaliated by thrashing them in the final T20I by 10 wickets with 54 balls to spare.

India’s left-arm bowler Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 3 for 9 and the opposition could make only 7 for 112 in 20 overs. She was both economical (conceding only nine runs in four overs) and deadly.

India blasted 1 for 114 in only 66 balls to win handsomely. They were given a terrific start of 96 runs off only 51 balls by teenager Shafali Verma (60 runs off just 30 balls, enriched with five sixes and skipper Smriti Mandhana (48 not out).

A lot is expected from 17 year-old fire bomb Shafali.

Dynamic Shafali Verma oozing six appeal
Person of the Match, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, economical and deadly

Dhawan’s aggressive 98 ensures India’s continuous success

Virat Kohli’s confident men kept marching forward, defeating England in the first ODI in Pune. In the last two months they had defeated England 3-1 in Tests and 3-2 in T20Is.

Sent in to bat India amassed 5 for 317 in 50 overs. Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan opened the batting and hit 98 runs (with two sixes), adding 105 runs with skipper Kohli (56 runs) in only 17 overs for the second wicket.

Then Lokesh Rahul (62 not out with four sixes) and debutant Krunal Pandya (58 not out with two sixes) took over adding 112 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket in only 9.5 overs.

It was cricket exhilarating cricket. Pity there was no crowd (due to COVID restrictions) to cheer the dynamic Indian batsmen.

The England openers Jason Roy (46 with one six) and Johnny Bairstow (94 with seven sixes) were even more adventurous, adding 135 runs for the first wicket off only 14.2 overs.

As they looked like overtaking India’s total, speedsters Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2 for 30), debutant Prasidh Krishna (4 for 54) and Shardul Thakur (3 for 37) applied brakes and England was bowled out for 251.

India won by 66 runs to lead the ODI series 1-0. At the end of the match a tearful Krunal Pandya dedicated his unbeaten 58 to his and brother Hardik’s father who had passed away in January.

The second of the three ODIs starts tomorrow (Friday) at Pune.

Brotherly connections

Just as the Indian team included brothers Hardik and Krunal Pandya, the England XI had brothers Sam and Tom Curren

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