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England shows youthful promise despite a dominant Indian display

When historians look back at 2022, it will be seen as a momentous year for England. Changing the old guard gave way to a set of new heroes. At the start of the season, Freya Kemp has not looked back since the Commonwealth Games, and along with Alice Capsey, Issy Wong and Lauren Bell, the future seems secure.

Missing the experience of Heather Knight, Nat Sciver and Kathrine Brunt, the latter rested rather than unavailable there are going to be bumps in the road and the latest Vitality IT20 proved that. Despite a superb fifty from Kemp, an unbeaten 79 fromSmriti Mandhana helped India draw the series level with the final match set for Bristol on Sunday. India eventually won by eight wickets with twenty balls to spare.

It was evident that India was unhappy with the conditions on Saturday at Chester-Le-Street. But, in fairness, England hadn’t travelled so far north very often, and both teams were back in more surroundings of Derby for the Second Vitality IT20, a venue that India have very fond memories of and Harmanpreet Kaur in particular.

England won the toss and batted on a ground that has seen its fair share of rain over the last few days but looked dry and a good surface to bat on. Unfortunately, England’s game plan to get out of the traps early and keep the pressure on the visitors didn’t go according to plan. Sophia Dunkley (5) and Danni Wyatt (6) sat back in the dugout after the first thirteen balls.

Alice Capsey was run out by a quality bit of fielding in the deep from Radha Yadav. Capsey had given up all hope after being sent back by Bryony Smith when she wanted a third run when the throw from Kaur came fizzing into Richa Ghosh, who had enough time to fumble before dislodging the bails.

It felt like Smith needed to redeem herself and with captain Amy Jones. Smith escaped with a slice of luck as she smashed a four straight through the fielder Pooja Vastrakar’s hands at deep midwicket. However, it was to desert her a ball later as she found Radha Yadav, who held onto the more difficult catch diving forward.

Maia Bouchier helped steady the innings, allowing Kemp the freedom to play her shot, clearing the boundary ropes three times and striking three fours to race to an unbeaten 37-ball 51.

142 for six never looked enough, and Shafali Verma and Mandhana set up the India Innings in ther usual style with class, timing and power. With a ball left of the powerplay, the pair had taken India to 55 before Verma was caught and bowled by Sophie Ecclestone.

Although Freya Davies bowled Dayalan Hemalatha for nine, India never looked in trouble chasing. India had only lost one game out of their seven visits to Derby, and they were determined to ensure their record was not tarnished. Mandhana smashed Davies for four to complete a comprehensive win.

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