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India v England: Tourists Miss Chance to Seal Series Clean Sweep

England missed the chance to record a series clean sweep over India after falling to a five-wicket defeat in the third and final T20 in Mumbai.

Smriti Mandhana top-scored with 48 as the hosts chased down 127 with an over to spare at the Wankhede Stadium.

England needed a fine fifty from captain Heather Knight to post 126, having slipped to 76-8 at one stage.

Shreyanka Patil and Saiqa Ishaque were the pick of the India bowlers, taking three wickets each.

England win the T20 series 2-1, their sixth successive series victory over India in the format.

A one-off four-day Test between the two sides starts on Thursday at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai.

Plenty to ponder for England

Though the series is won there will still be plenty for England to think about after a below-par batting performance in which four batters fell for golden ducks.

The top order looked vulnerable without Nat Sciver-Brunt, who was one of three players rested while a fourth, Sarah Glenn, was out with a thumb injury.

Knight will point to the youthful-looking nature of the side as mitigation, with Bess Heath and Danielle Gibson, both 22, and 17-year-old Mahika Gaur handed opportunities to gain experience.

Maia Bouchier was the other player to come in for Sciver-Brunt but was bowled by Renuka Singh Thakur for a golden duck off just the third ball of the match.

Sophia Dunkley showed some aggression to reach double figures for the first time this series but was caught at backward point for 11, before Alice Capsey fell for seven to leave England reeling on 26-3.

Knight and Amy Jones restored some control, but when Jones departed for 25 it triggered another collapse, as England lost five wickets for just nine runs.

The captain responded by accelerating, playing a lot straighter than her team-mates to score plenty of runs through long-on and long-off.

The 32-year-old hit three fours and three sixes in her 42-ball innings before falling for 52 off the penultimate delivery.

India made a poor start to their chase when Shafali Verma was bowled by Freya Kemp for six, but Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues showed their class to put on 57 for the second wicket.

Rodrigues was trapped lbw by Charlie Dean for 29 but Mandhana drove India to within 15 runs of victory before she was well caught at point by Dunkley off Sophie Ecclestone.

Amanjot Kaur’s lively cameo of 10 not out, which included two fours from just four balls, saw India over the line.

‘We didn’t have enough for the bowlers’ – reaction

England captain Heather Knight: “It’s really good learning, we decided to rest a few players and play a few of our youngsters. India bowled really well, our total was subpar but in the game. But I’m happy with the series, we had to adapt to the conditions.

“We didn’t bat as well we should have. If we had 140 it would have been a really close game, but we didn’t have enough for the bowlers.”

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “Over all the games, we’ve improved as a team. We always need our game time, we’ll keep on improving and we’ve seen good performances.

“The pitch was a bit tricky. Some of the balls, especially the off-spinners were turning and then going straight. As a batter you keep thinking about that. As a batting group, we picked the bowlers where we take the charge.”

Source : BBC