Left-arm orthodox bowler Ekta Bisht and fiery Harmanpreet Kaur tried their best Tuesday to bag India Women their second win of the ICC Women's World T20 2016, but couldn't get their job done. England Women got past India Women by two wickets at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.
The chances of seeing Mithali Raj and Co in the knockout stages of the competition are almost over now.
Both Indian spinners Ekta and Harmanpreet came quite close to getting hat-tricks, but they will not be too unhappy with not being able to achieve the feat: They gave fans moments of immense joy during the England Women innings. While Ekta took four wickets, Harmanpreet took two.
Following the dismissal of England Women skipper Charlotte Edwards in the third over itself, it looked like the pair of Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor would comfortably chase down the low total, but things changed drastically after that. The two India Women cricketers showed a lot of mettle to slow down the run-rate for the visitors, but in the end, it was a foregone conclusion.
England chased down the target of 91 runs with six balls to spare.
The one thing that has troubled the India Women batting in the competition is they have not been successful in forging a good partnership on the field. The opening pair of Mithali Raj and Vanitha Vellaswamy hasn't really clicked as much as it was expected to.
In the match, the early dismissal of Vanitha in the first over itself by the impressive England Women off-spinner Heather Knight meant India were under a heavy challenge to post a good total right from the start. Mithali, on her part, stayed on for 12 overs, but couldn't really get a grip on the match.
The 33-year-old scored 20 off 33 balls in a calm-but-calculated innings, and when it looked like she was stepping up to go for the big hits, a mistimed square cut saw her dismissal, with the ball reaching straight into the hands of Lydia Greenway in the first ball of the 13th over.
Apart form Knight, medium pacer Anya Shrubsole also played a key role in restricting the India Women to a low total at the picturesque Dharamsala. The England Women cricketers shared five wickets between themselves.
From Smriti Mandhana to Veda Krishnamurthy, all the India Women batsmen tried to play their role with the willow and forge a good partnership, but couldn't come out successful. If there was only one player looking good for a fiery performance with the bat as well, it was Harmanpreet.
The 27-year-old hit three fours in three back-to-back overs to inspire her team to reach at least the 90-run mark in their innings. Harmanpreet was run out off the last bowl of the India innings, heading back after scoring 26 off 25 balls on the slow wicket.
Charlotte Edwards, after winning the toss and electing to field, confidently said her army was good enough to chase down any total, and that is exactly how it turned out. "It doesn't get any easier watch the last few runs. The girls did really well to hold their nerve, onto the West Indies next," she said after the match.
Catch the full scorecard and the highlights of the game HERE.