England v India: Harmanpreet Kaur hits masterful century to lead India to ODI series win

Second one-day international, Canterbury
India 333-5 (50 overs): Harmanpreet 143* (111), Deol 58 (72)
England 245 all out (44.2 overs): Wyatt 65 (58); Thakur 4-57
India won by 88 runs, 2-0

Harmanpreet Kaur hit a sublime 143 not out from 111 balls to guide India to an 88-run victory over England in the second one-day international at Canterbury.

After going into bat, India posted a staggering 333-5, the highest total England have ever posted in a home ODI.

Captain Harmanpreet hit 18 fours and four sixes in her innings, aided by Harleen Deol’s 58.

Renuka Singh Thakur then starred with the ball as he took 4-57 to bowl England out for 245 in another disappointing performance.

Danni Wyatt and Amy Jones took England to 167-4, with Wyatt’s dismissal of 65 in the 30th over sparking a four-wicket collapse for 16 runs.

The win gives India an unassailable 2-0 lead, their first ODI series win in England since 1999.

Again England struggled in the absence of key top players, with Katherine Brunt rested, captain Heather Knight injured and Nat Sciver rested for his mental health.

The inexperience of England’s bowling attack proved harsh, and India capitalised. Freya Kemp and Lauren Bell’s bowling figures were two of England’s most expensive of all time – Kemp took 1-82 and Bell 1-79, and as a team they bowled 21 wides.

The series continues with the third and final ODI at Lord’s on Saturday.

Brutal learning curve for England bowlers

The impact of injuries and absences on England’s bowling attack is well documented, and Tash Farrant’s back injury has caused further selection headaches.

But in Canterbury everything became clear.

While Kemp had an ODI debut to forget, Bell too struggled for the consistency England crave.

The experienced pair of Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone also managed six runs apiece, but spinner Charlie Dean held his nerve brilliantly with 1-39.

There are several selection dilemmas for whoever replaces Lisa Keightley as coach at the end of this series, but particularly in the bowling department: the three ODIs England have ever conceded come in 2022.

There were questionable tactics on the part of Amy Jones, who has unexpectedly found herself in the lead in the absence of Knight and Sciver. But sticking with their five bowlers cost England, conceding 10 balls apiece, despite Bell and Kemp in particular being carried down the ground by Harmanpreet and Deol.

Part-time spinners Alice Capsey and Emma Lamb failed to bowl a single ball between them.

It’s a young and inexperienced bowling attack coming off the retirement of Anya Shrubsole and preparing for the retirement of Brunt, but they looked lost and lacked leadership against Harmanpreet at her brutal and brilliant best.

Harmanpreet’s class punishes England

Recently, India have shown overconfidence in their opening pair of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana.

But as India moved to 99-3, Harmanpreet played a masterful, chance-free innings, building patiently to reach 50 from 64 balls, before capitalizing on England’s infamous bowling to run one ball to reach his century.

He then smashed his final 43 runs off just 11 balls, finishing unbeaten taking his average as captain to a remarkable 116.2.

It was a devastating white-ball batting masterclass, but England’s tactics played into their hands.

As Jones continued with the same bowlers, the pace became predictable as he scored with perfect timing down the ground, and occasionally carved two stunning sixes over extra cover.

Even the world’s best bowler Ecclestone had no answer, and England suffered their fifth defeat in seven matches.