England v India: Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey shine as hosts claim 2-1 series win in third Twenty20


Third Twenty20 International, Bristol
India 122-8 (20 overs): Richa 33; Ecclestone 3-25
England 126-3 (18.2 overs): Dunkley 49, Capsey 38*; Yadav 1-14
England won by seven wickets
Scorecard

Sophia Dunkley and Alice Capsey led England to a comfortable seven-run win over India in the third and final Twenty20 in Bristol.

The win sealed a 2-1 series victory for England.

Chasing 123 to win, Dunkley and Danni Wyatt added 70 for the first wicket.

But after losing three quick wickets, including Dunkley’s 49, Capsey hit an unbeaten 38 off 24 balls as England reached the target with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, India came in first and moved to 75-7, eventually reaching 122-8 after Richa Ghosh’s entertaining 33 off 21 balls.

But England’s performance on the pitch was much improved from their previous game at Derby, where they suffered an eight-run defeat.

Sophie Ecclestone, the world’s number one T20 bowler, led England’s bowling attack with 3-25 and was assisted by Sarah Glenn, who took 2-11.

England removed both openers within the first four overs and India struggled to recover, with captain Harmanpreet Kaur also falling cheaply for five.

Wicketkeeper Ghosh hit five fours in his cameo at number eight to spearhead the recovery, ending the innings with 19 off Pooja Vastrakar’s 11 balls.

But on a good batting pitch, she was below par and despite losing the experienced batsmen of Dunkley, Wyatt and Amy Jones, 18-year-old Capsey showed impressive composure and skill to claim victory.

The teams now enter a three-match one-day international series in Hove on Sunday 18 September at 11am BST.

Capsey shines after improving bowling effort

After standing at the non-striker end and watching Dunkley and Jones depart, few would blame Capsey for feeling nervous, with the required run rate yet to run with the ball.

But instead, he remained calm and put the pressure back on the Indian bowlers with a striking display of reverse sweeps and powerful strokes.

After Freya Kemp’s second T20 maiden half-century, England’s future batting depth looks exciting, especially in the absence of their two most experienced batsmen in Heather Knight and Nat Sciver.

But victory was set up by England’s bowlers and their pitching, an impressive response after a disappointing Derby display.

Wyatt, who fell to a simple boundary chance in that defeat, and Ecclestone set the tone early on with a brilliant diving catch at the boundary.

With all the excitement surrounding Capsey and Kemp’s youth, it’s easy to forget that Eccleston himself is only 23; such is the ease with which he directs England’s bowlers.

England especially looked set to miss the valuable experience of Knight and Sciver during the second T20, so they will go into the ODI series full of confidence, led by up-and-coming talent.

‘The best talent I’ve seen in a long time’ – the reaction

Former England spinner Alex Hartley on BBC Test Match Special: “It was a good game for England. India were always playing catch after losing three wickets in the powerplay, and England were clinical in the end.

“Alice Capsey is, for me, the best talent I’ve seen in English cricket in a long time.”

England T20 Player of the Summer Sophia Dunkley: “I’m really proud of our girls because we’re missing three key players from our team.

“Some have tried to step up and we are a relatively young team. The results speak for themselves.”

Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “We were 20 runs short but we have to give credit to our bowlers. That’s why we were still in the game. We just couldn’t bat the way we would have liked – in any cricket you need absolute decent on the board.”