Debutant Shafali Verma became only the fourth player and the youngest one in the history of women’s cricket to hit consecutive half centuries on debut as India after being bowled out for 231 finished Day three on 83/1 when play was called off due to rain in Bristol.
In the one-off Test against England, India trails by 82 runs with Shafali batting on 55 along with fellow debutant, Deepti Sharma, who is unbeaten on 18.
The duo defied the England bowlers for 20 overs and added 54 runs in the post-lunch session when early Tea was called due to rain. The post-lunch session itself started 30 minutes late due to rain. England toiled hard for the whole second session without any success.
The other opener Smriti Mandhana was dismissed in the morning session for just eight runs as India aims to save the Test with nine second innings wickets in hand in the four-day match.
Verma, who had hit 96 in her first innings, continued her impressive form as she hit six more boundaries in the second session.
Shafali Verma and Deepti Sharma during their unbeaten half-century stand against England Women on Day three. – GETTY IMAGES
Earlier, India was left with a mountain to climb after being shot out for 231 in its first innings, half an hour before lunch.
After a dramatic collapse on the second day on Thursday, India’s batting woes continued as it lost five wickets for the addition of just 44 runs in 21.2 overs in the morning session, undoing the tremendous effort by Verma (96) and Mandhana (78).
Deepti (29 not out) and Pooja Vastrakar (12) put up a 33-run stand for the ninth wicket but could not save the team from following on in response to England’s first innings total of 396/9 declared.
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (4/88) was the pick of the England bowlers with four wickets while pacers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole took the last two Indian wickets.
India scored its first run of the day after 20 balls and by then had lost two wickets, including the crucial one of vice captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Harmanpreet was out after England went for review in the second over of the day without adding anything to her overnight score of four. She was ruled leg before off Ecclestone.
Tanya Bhatia fell two overs later without disturbing the scorer after facing six balls. She too was dismissed by Ecclestone, who then accounted for Sneh Rana (2) with a turning delivery to reduce India to 197 for 8.
England took the new ball after 80 overs and the Indian first innings ended 1.2 overs after that with the dismissal of Pooja Vastrakar (12) and Jhulan Goswami (1).
Brief Scores: England Women: 396/9 decl India Women: 231 and 83 for 1 in 24.3 overs (Shafali Verma 55 not out, Deepti Sharma 18 not out; Katherine Brunt 1/21).