After making a solid start replying to England’s first-innings’ 396 for nine wickets declared, India secularly slipped in the third and final session and ended the second day at 187 for five wickets in the one-off Test here on Thursday.
India lost their last four wickets for the addition of just 16 runs to lose the superb launch pad provided by openers, teenaged debutant Shafali Verma (96, 152 balls, 13x4s, 2x6s) and experienced Smriti Mandhana (78, 155 balls, 14x4s). They raised 167 for the opening wicket, raising hopes of a big total.
England, however, came roaring back and captured five wickets in the third and final session. India still trail by 209 runs. The follow-on mark is 247.
After Shafali, who was unlucky to miss a century on debut, and Smiriti, not a single Indian batswoman entered double-digit scores. At close, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur was batting on four and left-handed debutant Deepti Sharma was yet to open her account.
Experienced captain Mithali Raj managed two, Punam Raut also scored two, and Shikha Pandey failed to score.
Credit is due to English bowlers who came back strongly towards the end of the day and wrested the initiative.
Earlier, at tea interval, India were comfortably placed at 63 for no loss, with Shafali on 35 (73 balls, 5x4s, 1×6) and Smriti on 27 (65 balls, 4x4s). And then the collapse took place in the post-tea session.
England had earlier declared their first innings at 396 for nine wickets, scored in 121.2 overs, in the second session of the second day of the four-day match.
Sophia Dunkley remained unbeaten on 74 (127 balls, 9x4s), though the top
scorer was captain Heather Knight with 95. Towards the end of the innings, Anya Shrubsole scored a brisk 47 not out off only 33 balls, and it included six boundaries and a six.
For India, off-spinner Sneh Rana was the top wicket-taker with four for 131 and off-spinning all-rounder Deepti Sharma bagged three for 65.
Brief scores (Stumps, Day 2):
England: 396/9 wkts declared in 121.2 overs (Heather Knight 95, Sophia Dunkley 74 not out, Tammy Beaumont 66, Anya Shrubsole 47, Natalie Sciver 42, Lauren Winfield Hill 35, Sneh Rana 4/131, Deepti Sharma 3/65); India: 187/5 in 60 overs (Shafali Verma 96, Smriti Mandhana 78, Heather Knight 2/1)