Northampton, July 10
England all-rounder Nat Sciver smashed a record-equalling half century before the bowlers put the struggling Indian batters under pressure to ensure an 18 run-win for the hosts via DLS method in the rain-curtailed first T20I against here.
Put in to bat, England rode on Sciver's 27-ball 55, that included eight fours and a hit over the fence, and wicketkeeper Amy Jones' 43 off 27 balls to reach 177 for seven in 20 overs.
Sciver's sensational fifty was England's joint fastest in the format.
In reply, India failed to keep up with the required run-rate despite vice-captain Smriti Mandhana's quickfire 29 off 17 balls before rain gods had the last laugh with the visitors at 54 for three in 8.4 overs, 18 runs behind England via the DLS method.
England now lead the three-match series 1-0 and 8-4 in the multi-format points system having lifted the ODI trophy.
Chasing 178, India was off to the worst possible start as pacer Katherine Brunt bamboozled the big-hitting Shafali Verma for a duck, leaving India nought for one.
However, Mandhana and Harleen Deol (17 not out) got the tourists back on track after the initial upset.
With rain on the cards, the duo quickly stitched a 44-run partnership with Mandhana hitting six boundaries, including successive fours off Brunt in the third over of the chase, while Harleen played second fiddle.
But Sciver struck soon, getting rid of the dangerous Mandhana in the sixth over.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's (1) prolonged lean patch continued as the senior batter became all-rounder Sarah Glenn's first victim in the very next over.
The loss of the skipper's wicket in quick succession cost the Indians dear, ensuring that they were well behind in the DLS method.
Earlier, veteran pacer Shikha Pandey (3/22) snared three wickets while spinners Poonam Yadav (1/32) and Radha Yadav (1/33) took a scalp each in what was an ordinary bowling effort.
Openers Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt gave England a solid start, collecting 48 runs in the powerplay. PTI
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