Sports Mithali Raj hits fifty but Cross’ five-for keep India to 221 in 2nd ODI

Mithali Raj hits fifty but Cross’ five-for keep India to 221 in 2nd ODI

Taunton, June 30

Skipper Mithali Raj hit a responsible fifty but England’s Kate Cross recorded a five-wicket haul to dismiss India Women for 221 in the second ODI of the three-match series here on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old Raj, who had scored a fighting 72 in the first ODI, once again stood out with a 92-ball 59, studded with six boundaries but she didn’t get any support from the other end as Cross kept chipping away at the wickets.

Put in to bat, Smriti Mandhana (22) and Shafali Verma (44) gave India a good start, adding 56 runs in 11.5 overs before the former played one on to her stumps to become the first victim of Cross.

Jemimah Rodrigues (8), who replaced Punam Raut in the playing XI, continued to struggle with the bat as Cross induced a leading edge from the batter to leave India at 76 for two in 16 overs.

Verma, who scored seven fours in her 55-ball innings, was then flummoxed by Sophie Ecclestone with wicketkeeper Amy Ellen Jones producing a sharp stumping in the next over.

Raj and vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur then steadied the innings, sharing 68 runs off 103 balls to take India across the 100-run mark.

However, Cross once again returned to break the partnership, this time getting rid of Kaur, who ended up getting a leading edge—similar to Rodrigues—and was easily pouched by the bowler.

New batter Deepti Sharma got one boundary but paid the price for a poor shot as she was caught by Sophie Dunkley in the deep with Cross being the beneficiary again.

Sneh Rana, one of the star performers of the one-off test, too fell in similar fashion with her leading edge being caught by Heather Knight after a bit of a juggle as Cross claimed her fifth victim.

Taniya Bhatia then edged one to the keeper, while Shikha Pandey too was caught behind as Indian women slumped to 181 for 8 in 44 overs.

Raj was then run out while trying to steal a second run. Jhulan Goswami and Poonam yadav then stitched 29 runs off 22 balls to swell the Indian total. PTI

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