Floodlights turned on and the conditions, slightly overcast for a start here at Bristol after a warm day 1. India would have wish to carry on the momentum they had from the last hour of play and England would wish for a big first innings total. With the conditions a bit overcast the pitch is still good for batters.
Shikha starts off well and Jhulan from the other end starts off with a wicket in her first over and it’s Brunt who makes her way back. A couple of overs by the pacers and the skipper decides to go with the spinners. The wickets have not come with the spin trick but England gets big runs and have 300 on board. Ecclestone and Sophia have had a good time in the middle, Sophia gets to her 50* on debut, this has been a class act, hanging in the middle and scoring valuable runs for England with the tail.
A few shouts and reviews but the scorecard remains untouched. Breakthrough for India and a much wanted one as England were shifting gares, the 56 run partnership that comes to end, credits to Deepti Sharma. Shrubsole makes her way and has accelerated the English scorecard at quick pace. Pooja in to bowl, a couple overs before lunch. Harmanpreet kaur too was tried just before lunch to have a wicket but nothing has gone India’s way. 3 short of her deserving half century Shrubsole falls after smashing a few hits and England declare on 396-9, highest test score for England. Debutant Sophia remains unbeaten on 74, top knock that. Sneh Rana tops the wicket charts with 4 to her name. Deepti Sharma has 3. A wicket each to Pooja and the veteran Jhulan.
India will look to have a good outing with the bat, Smriti and Shafali make their way. Brunt to lead the English pace attack and Shrubsole from the other end. The English pacers have been very disciplined with the bowling hardly a bad ball and India watchful to the new ball, do well. A few edges feel short but England don’t get the reward. A dropped catch of Smriti on 26 would frustrate the England camp. 50 run partnership for India to start off, India trusting drives in England real positive sign. English vice captain Sciver was the one change bowler for a short spell and Kate Cross comes in from the other end. Ecclestone the spinner comes on, replaces Sciver. England trying all options before tea and India deny wicket to the English bowlers.
Both Indian openers have been magnificent, have set the right platform. Young 17 Y/O Shafali Verma has a 50* on debut has been a patient one this time and soon India see 100 on board. Smriti too has patiently made her way to her 2nd test 50*. Both openers have had a bit of luck but have made full use of it. England deserve a wicket, have denied it themselves as 3 catches have been dropped of Smriti, England have looked poor to create pressure with the fielding being too ordinary. Huge hit from Shafali see India reach 152. Skipper finally comes to try her luck and get a breakthrough for England, start’s of well. Shafali inching close to her maiden ton falls a hit away as Kate Cross strikes and the 167 run opening stand comes to end, delight on faces of English players after a toil hard day. Puman Raut comes in has a watchful start, run rate not dipped as Smriti takes charge and hits the odd ball on merit. A wicket more for England, another heartbreak for India as Smriti departs for excellent 78, vice captain, Sciver with the key wicket and it’s not Mithali Raj, Shikha Pandey makes her way.
England don’t take a review or would have had another key wicket in Punam Raut as she feathers one to the keeper in the same Sciver over. The trick doesn’t work as Shikha Pandey goes for a duck and it’s the England captain with the reward for a good spell, comeback tour worsens for Shikha Pandey. The Indian skipper Mithali Raj walks out. Punam Raut starts with a couple on the 23rd ball. England get Ecclestone as there’s a bit of help of spinners towards late end as was seen yesterday and rewarded straightaway as Mithali Raj departs for 2 to a peach and a brilliant catch at short leg by Tammy, that needed a review to be on the scorecard. Harmanpreet Kaur makes her way and the game’s tuned on it’s head and is back to life. English skipper continues her spell and there’s a wicket again this time it’s Punam Raut for 2, ends her stay. Deepti Sharma meets the vice captain in the middle. England back loud after quick 4 wickets. Harmanpreet kaur given out on duck, reviews and survives and so do hopes of India, Ecclestone with a beauty to end the day. Captain knight tops the wicket chart, 6 overs – 5 maiden and 2 wickets. A wicket each to Ecclestone, Cross and Sciver.
England with 4 quick wickets during the last half hour of play see India collapse, 167-1 to 183-5. England bring back life in this game and an exciting day 3 is what we look at.