Worcester [UK], July 4 (ANI): Skipper Mithali Raj smashed a classy fifty while Sneh Rana played a fighting cameo as India defeated England by four wickets in the third and final ODI on Saturday.
With this victory, India finally registered their first win on the England tour. The hosts had already won the series after clinching the first two ODIs but Mithali played a captain's knock to give India a consolation win.
Chasing 220, India got off to a good start with both openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana scoring regular boundaries. The visitors were right in the chase before Kate Cross provided England with the first breakthrough and dismissed Shafali (19) in the ninth over.
Mandhana then stitched a brief 20-run stand with Jemimah Rodrigues before Sophie Ecclestone sent the latter back in the dugout to reduce India to 66/2.
A few minutes later India lost Mandhana (49) as she departed without completing her fifty. Skipper Mithali stitched an important partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur for the fourth wicket after becoming the leading runs scorer across formats in international women's cricket.
However, Knight dismissed Harmanpreet before Sciver sent back Deepti Sharma in the 40th over to reduce India to 164/5.
India needed 38 runs from the last five overs and Sneh Rana rose to the occasion hitting some classy shots. Mithali too joined the party as she hammered the ball along the ground to see India home. Sneh smashed 24 runs off 22 balls to aid India's chase in the third ODI.
Earlier, Deepti Sharma picked three wickets to restrict England to 219. England collapsed from 151/3 to 219/10 in 14 overs as Indian bowlers kept it tight in the second half of the hosts' innings.
It was an all-round bowling performance from the Indian side as every bowler, who bowled picked at least a wicket.
Put in to bat first, England got off to a bad start as they lost Tammy Beaumont for a duck in the second over. It was Beaumont's first duck in ODIs since November 2016.
Lauren Winfield Hill (36) and Heather Knight then stitched a solid partnership to steady the ship before Sneh Rana struck in her first over to reduce England at 68/2 in the 17th over.
England skipper Knight crossed 3000 ODI runs and became the fourth woman from her country to achieve the feat.
But her stint at the crease soon ended as she fell four runs short of a fifty. Harmanpreet dismissed the England skipper as Knight slog-swept to Shikha at deep midwicket.
Amy Ellen Jones and Natalie Sciver then built a brief partnership to take England over the 150-run mark in the 33rd over. But the hosts lost three wickets in quick intervals as India denied any chance of slogging to the England batters.
Mandhana ran around from deep mid-wicket to take a sensational catch to dismiss Sciver (49) while Poonam Yadav bamboozled Katherine Brunt to reduce England to 177/6.
Wickets didn't stop falling in the death overs as England could only manage 219 in the 47 overs (reduced due to rain).
Brief scores: England 219/10 (Natalie Sciver 49, Heather Knight 46; Deepti Sharma 3-47); India 220/6 (Mithali Raj (75, Smriti Mandhana 49; Sophie Ecclestone 2-36). (ANI)