England v India: Smriti Mandhana guides tourists to victory to set up T20 series decider

Second Twenty20 International, The Incora County Ground, Derby
England 142-6 (20 overs): Kemp 51* (37), Bouchier 34 (26); Rana 3-24
India 146-2 (16.4 overs): Mandhana 79* (53), Kaur 29* (22)
India won by eight wickets

Opener Smriti Mandhana made an unbeaten 79 to guide India to an eight-run victory over England and set up a decider in the three-match Twenty20 series.

Chasing 143 to win, India cruised home with 20 balls to spare in the Derby as Mandhana hit 13 fours in his 53-ball innings.

He was supported by Harmanpreet Kaur’s 29 not out and Shafali Verma’s 20 not out.

Earlier England were 142-6, after being 18-3 and 54-5, 17-year-old Freya Kemp hit a maiden half-century, smashing an unbeaten 51 off 37 balls.

India improved a lot from their scrappy performance in the series opener on Saturday, with Radha Yadav brilliant in the field and Sneh Rana taking 3-24.

They were then backed by a brilliant Mandhana, who made his 17th T20 half-century, and sixth against England, with a classy display of power and grit.

The final match of the T20 series takes place in Bristol on Thursday (6.30pm BST), before three one-day internationals follow from Sunday.

Kemp impresses but shows England’s inexperience

England, missing three of their most experienced and influential players in captain Heather Knight, vice-captain Nat Sciver and fast bowler Katherine Brunt, have spoken of wanting to be more aggressive in Twenty20 cricket, which could lead to the breaks.

This was one of them.

There were soft dismissals early on, with Sophia Dunkley falling to spin again when she was stumped by Deepti Sharma, Danni Wyatt caught at slip and Alice Capsey dismissed after a miscommunication with Bryony Smith.

Senior skipper Amy Jones and Smith steadied both before falling quickly, while Freya Kemp and Maia Bouchier, who made a career-best international 34, led them into a competitive run.

Kemp made the most of anything in his bow, hitting three big sixes and three fours, but India quickly and effectively tied the knot with some wide bowling after racing to 24 off 12 balls.

England were not as clinical as they usually are in the field, with some misfields, Danni Wyatt dropping Harmanpreet Kaur in the 19th over.

Kemp also started with a no-ball, favoring the opening delivery and free hit four, while Capsey started with five wides.

There were some encouraging signs as Lauren Bell bounced back well to finish with figures of 0-23 as she went for 14 from her first two overs, while Freya Davies dismissed Dayalan Hemalatha with a lovely ball that hit the top of the stumps.

‘Mandhana was poetry in motion’ – reaction

England spinner Sophie Ecclestone: “I don’t think we got enough runs tonight. We would have liked 20-30 more runs on the board but Mandhana showed her class.

“It was great to see Kempy and Bouch so well together – that bodes well for the future.

“Kempy is so calm, nothing seems to faze him. You’d think he’s got a 25-year-old’s head on his shoulders.”

Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “The way we ran on Saturday was what we discussed and I’m happy we did that.

“It was very important for us to implement our plans and I am very happy with what the players have done today.

“It’s a very important game on Thursday. Whenever we get to that last game at World Cups or Commonwealth Games, we’re always nervous, so it’s a good opportunity for us to get used to things like that and express ourselves.”

Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta on BBC Four: “Mandhana’s poetry was in motion. She didn’t put on any muscle, it comes very naturally to her. It was nice to see her bat today.”