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India strike back in last session after England dominate Day 1

Five players made Test debuts for India, including Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia. England reached 269/6 at the end of Day 1.

Spinners Deepti Sharma and Sneh Rana removed two batters each in the final session as India Women reduced England Women to 269 for six on the opening day of the one-off Test in England on Wednesday.

After losing Lauren Winfield-Hill (35) in the opening session, the hosts lost Tammy Beaumont (66) in the second session but stayed in control.

However, the visitors sent back Natalie Sciver (42), Amy Jones (1) , England skipper Heather Knight (95) and Georgia Elwiss (5) in the post-tea session to make a comeback in the match.

Sophiya Dunkley (12) and Katherine Brunt (7) will resume England’s innings on Thursday.

Indian Women picked up the crucial wicket Tammy Beaumont (66) in the second session but England Women consolidated their position by reaching 162 for two at tea.

After getting rid of Lauren Winfield-Hill (35) in the first session of the day, India Women toiled hard for most part of the post-lunch period before debutant off-spinner Sneh Rana picked up her maiden Test wicket.

She got rid of in-form of Beaumont, who was brilliantly caught by Shafali Verma at short leg.

Beaumont faced 166 balls and decorated her innings with six fours en route to her second Test fifty.

Skipper Heather Knight (47 not out) batted cautiously and remained unbeaten in the company of Natalie Sciver (11 not out) as England made 76 runs off 28 overs in the second session.

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Earlier, the hosts made a solid 86 for one in the opening session.

The Indian pace duo of veteran Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey made a promising start, doing just enough to trouble the English batswoman on more than one occasion.

In the seventh over, Goswami induced an edge from Winfield-Hill as the batter went for an extravagant drive but Smriti Mandhana dropped the chance in the slip cordon despite getting both hands on the ball.

In the next over, Winfield got lucky again. Debutant Pooja Vastrakar induced a thick edge from the batter but the ball flew between second slip and gully to the boundary.

After a slow and cautious start, England picked up the pace. Winfield was the more positive of the two batters as she lofted Pandey over the mid-wicket to hit the first six of the innings and in the process brought up England’s fifty in the 17th over.

An over later, Winfield hit another maximum, this time over backward square leg off Vastrakar.

Vastrakar eventually had the last laugh as she had Winfield caught by wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, giving India the breakthrough.

As many as five players made Test debut for India, including Verma, Deepti Sharma, Vastrakar, Rana and Bhatia, while for England Sophia Dunkley was the lone player to earn a Test cap.

India are playing their first Test in nearly seven years.

Scoreboard

England Women 1st innings:

Lauren Winfield Hill c T Bhatia b P Vastrakar 35
Tammy Beaumont c S Verma b S Rana 66
Heather Knight lbw b D Sharma 95
Natalie Sciver lbw b D Sharma 42
Amy Jones lbw b S Rana 1
Sophia Dunkley batting 12
Georgia Elwiss c D Sharma b S Rana 5
Katherine Brunt batting 7

Extras: (B-2, NB-2, WD-1) 5

Total (For 6 wickets in 92 overs) 269

Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-140, 3-230, 4-236, 5-244, 6-251.

Bowling: Jhulan Goswami 18-2-44-0, Shikha Pandey 11-3-36-0, Pooja Vastrakar 12-3-43-1, Sneh Rana 29-3-77-3, D Sharma 18-3-50-2, Harmanpreet Kaur 4-0-16-0.

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