Knight (95) stars in her 100th appearance as England’s captain, while Sophia Dunkley (12 *) makes history; Tammy Beaumont (66) also impresses, while Sneh Rana (3-77) and Deepti Sharma (2-50) lead India’s comeback
Heather Knight was sacked five runs of a second Test Hundred in her 100th appearance as England’s captain, as India fought back with a flurry of late wickets on a gripping first day of the LV = Insurance Women’s Test at Bristol.
Knight (95) and Tammy Beaumont (66) recorded half a century when England returned to red ball cricket for the first time since 2019, while Nat Sciver (42) and Lauren Winfield-Hill (35) also played valuable cameos for the hosts, which closed on 269-6.
England’s positive approach was evident early on and Knight led from the front, capitalizing on any errant delivery and displaying impressive resolve on his 175-ball hit, which included nine limits.
Pre-match preparation was clouded by controversy surrounding the pitch after it emerged that the game would be played on the same ground used for Gloucestershire’s Vitality Blast clash last week, but the higher order of the hosts dominated the matches. first two sessions.
The complexion changed dramatically after a flurry of quick windows in the later stages, when England fell from 230-2 to 251-6, with Deepti Sharma (2-50) and Sneh Rana (3-77) combining to great effect.
However, Sophia Dunkley, the first black woman to play test cricket for England, finished undefeated with 12 alongside Katherine Brunt (7 not), while Knight’s team stabilized things after a riveting 92 overs at County Ground. .
India delivered red ball debuts to Sharma, Rana, Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia and Pooja Vastrakar when they began their first four-day assignment since November 2014, and they will be encouraged by their spirited fight.
Knight chose to hit first after winning the toss and his team got off to an excellent start, navigating a difficult opening hour in which Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey engineered some of the early moves for India.
Winfield-Hill received a respite when Smriti Mandhana dropped her in three, and contributed to England’s highest opening association in women’s test cricket since August 2004, placing 69 alongside Beaumont.
Winfield-Hill proved his destructive potential with two sixes in his 35 innings, but was denied an inaugural test fifty when two of India’s debutants combined, with goalkeeper Bhatia handing Vastrakar his first proving ground with an excellent reflex capture.
Beaumont was undefeated at 44 when England went 86-1 at lunch, and England’s diminutive starter raised his second Test fifty with 99 balls shortly after the restart, courtesy of his signature sweep shot.
Mithali Raj continued to shuffle his pack in an attempt to make the breakthrough as Knight and Beaumont took advantage of the hosts’ lead, but with England in control at 140-1, the visitors struck courtesy of two more debutants.
Rana, returning to international cricket after a five-year hiatus, caught her first test wicket by inducing Beaumont down the track, and an inside edge on the platform led to her disappearance, as Verma, 17 years, he made an excellent short leg diving catch
Knight was joined on the fold by Vice Captain Nat Sciver, who posted back-to-back limits in front of the Goswami bowling alley to help England 162-2 after tea, and she threatened to take the game away from the visitors with an entrepreneur. beat.
He was handed a life preserver at 34 when Sharma bombed a regulation opportunity in the middle of the wicket, though he soon made amends, catching the right off-road plumb up front as Sciver revised the decision to no avail.
This provoked a counterattack from India; Amy Jones (1) was unable to replicate her ravishing form from the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy when she succumbed lbw to Rana, before Knight excruciatingly departed before a second Test Hundred.
The angle change paid dividends for Sharma as he circled the wicket to the England captain, and having received lbw on the field, tracking the ball showed the ball was coming off the stump.
India’s recovery continued as Sharma abruptly caught Rana to fire Georgia Elwiss (5), though Dunkley and Brunt struggled through the final 45 minutes to leave the competition well-prepared heading into the second day.
Live coverage of the women’s event between England and India continues on Sky Sports Cricket.