Indian eves drub England to win series

Skipper Mithali Raj led from the front with an unbeaten 74.

Skipper Mithali Raj led from the front with an unbeaten 74 as India women outclassed England by eight wickets in the third and final one day international here and clinched the series 2-1.

After India spinners restricted England to a modest 201/9, opener Smriti Mandhana (53 retired hurt), Mithali and Deepti Sharma (54 not out) ensured that the hosts crossed the line with 4.4 overs to spare.

India had won the first match by one wicket while England had levelled the series after they defeated the hosts by eight wickets in the second game.

For England, wicket-keeper Amy Jones (94) top scored but she failed to find partners. Indian spinners wreaked havoc, as they shared six wickets, while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami (2/39) too chipped in.

Off-spinner Deepti (2/35), left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/32) and leg spinner Poonam Yadav (2/47) were among the wickets.

Skipper Heather Knight chipped in with 36 runs, but it was Jones, with seven fours and a six in her knock, who ensured that England went beyond the 200-run mark.

While chasing, Mandhana gave a brisk start and complemented Mithali. After the left-handed Mandhana was retired hurt, Deepti joined the captain and the two took India home.

But Mithali was the cynosure of eyes at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here as she punished English bowlers, hitting nine boundaries.

After losing the T20 tri-series, which also involved Australia apart from England, and the ODI series to the Southern Stars, India finally found the winning momentum against England.

Brief scores: England: 201/9 in 50 overs (Amy Jones 94, Heather Knight 36; Rajeshwari Gaikwad 2/32) lt to India: 202/2 in 45.2 overs (Mithali Raj 74 not out, Deepti Sharma 54 not out; Anya Shrubsole 2-37).

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