Sarah Glenn records career best figures as England thump India in series opener

Sarah Glenn recorded a new career-best. © Getty Images

India’s tour of England got off to a rough start as the hosts thrashed them by nine wickets at Chester-Le-Street on Saturday. Sarah Glenn took career-best figures with the ball, before Sophia Dunkley scored her second T20I fifty in an emphatic chase.

India struggle against spin

Amy Jones opted to bowl first in her first match as England captain after there had been rain in the lead up to the match.

England’s new ball pairing of debutant Lauren Bell and Freya Davies was guilty of bowling too wide or too short at the start and Smriti Mandhana took full toll by hitting three boundaries in the first three overs.

The pacers’ struggle to hit the right length forced Jones to resort to Bryony Smith’s off spin and she struck off just her sixth delivery as Mandhana fell to an off spinner yet again after failing to connect with an attempted sweep to depart for 23 off 20 balls.

Glenn gets the big wickets

Shafali Verma kept attacking though, stepping out and using her feet to unsettle the bowlers. Verma was dropped at cover by Dunkley on 12 but she failed to capitalise on that reprieve, adding only two more runs before falling to Glenn after failing to clear Bryony Smith at long off.

Spin well and truly applied the brakes after a good start by the Indian openers as Sophie Ecclestone bowled a maiden to amp up the pressure. The returning Dayalan Hemalatha batted at three in the absence of the injured Jemimah Rodrigues but she struggled throughout her 15-ball stint in the middle before falling LBW to Sarah Glenn for 10.

That brought Richa Ghosh to the crease and the wicketkeeper-batter played a couple of fine strokes to race to 16 runs before she was caught in the deep by Smith off Davies.

Glenn was the pick of the England bowlers and she went on to dismiss the dangerous-looking Harmanpreet Kaur for 20 with a delivery that kept low.

India struggled to find the boundary after Kaur’s dismissal, hitting only three fours in the last seven overs as Glenn ended with 4-23 after dismissing debutant Kiran Navgire for seven.

The spin strangle resulted in India ending with 132-7, with Deepti Sharma finishing unbeaten on 29 from 24 balls and top scoring after hitting Ecclestone for two fours in the last over.

India fluff their chances

India were rusty with the ball in the power play as Renuka Singh Thakur had Dunkley caught behind in the very first over but overstepped to let the batter off.

Thakur created another opportunity but Dunkley was given another let off on 15 as Shafali Verma shelled a routine catch at mid off.

Thakur bowled well upfront but both Pooja Vastrakar and Sharma were expensive as Danielle Wyatt managed to find the gaps and hit over the top.

Kaur went immediately to Sneh Rana as England rocketed to 56 for no loss in the power play and she struck to remove the dangerous Wyatt for a quick-fire 24 off 16 deliveries as Ghosh pulled off a fine stumping down the leg side off a wide.

Wyatt’s early aggression put England well ahead of the asking rate and India failed to make a comeback as their bowlers struggled with the wet ball, while their fielders were sloppy and guilty of overrunning the ball on multiple occasions.

Dunkley and Alice Capsey kept targeting the straight boundary and running hard between the wickets to ensure that there were no further hiccups for England in what turned out to be a straightforward chase.

England just needed 13 overs to chase India’s total down as Dunkley scored 61* from 44 balls, while Capsey finished with 32* off 20 balls.

Brief Scores: 

India 132/7 in 20 overs (Deepti Sharma 29*; Sarah Glenn 4/23) lost to England 134/1 in 13 overs (Sophia Dunkley 61*, Alice Capsey 32*; Sneh Rana 1/31) by nine wickets