HEATHER Knight hit 40 from 20 balls as England Women went 1-0 up in the Paytm Women’s T20 series, beating India by 41 runs in Guwahati.
Upon winning the toss, India’s skipper Smriti Mandhana asked England to bat and Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont set about taking advantage of the powerplay.
On a good wicket, Beaumont (62) and Wyatt (35) combined for their fifth fifty partnership in IT20 cricket as England reached 80/0 after 10 overs. India’s spinners began to claw back the momentum but a superb cameo from Knight took England to 160/4.
A competitive total, but England wanted early wickets and they got them. First stand-in keeper Beaumont, deputising for the unwell Amy Jones, took a smart catch off Katherine Brunt before Linsey Smith took two in two to put England in the ascendancy.
Having lost early wickets India were never really in the hunt and they went on to lose by 41 runs to see England go 1-0 up in the series. The second IT20 is at the same venue on Thursday.
Afterwards Beaumont said: “It was a brilliant team performance. Everyone stuck their hand up when it mattered and made a contribution. Given the adversity of the last 48 hours, with illness and injury, I think that was really impressive.
“It was hard to know what a good total was but Danni and I were able to get off to a good start – particularly her – and it was nice to be able to join in and push on.
“It’s always nice to bat with her and to put on a good partnership, especially in the first game of a series.
“The bowlers found the right length for the wicket really early and then they continued to nail their length, which made it hard for India to hit over the top. Kate Cross was great, and Linsey Smith also deserves a mention for her early wickets.”