Playing a red-ball game after seven years, the Indian Women‘s cricket team put up a scintillating performance to pull off a memorable draw against England Women in the one-off Test at County Ground in Bristol on Saturday (June 19).
The home team declared their first innings on 396/9 before bundling out India for 231, taking a strong lead of 165 runs and enforced the follow-on. The experienced duo of Mithali Raj (4) and Harmanpreet Kaur (8) failed to impress with their single-digit scores. However, youngsters and debutants took the responsibility to register history.
Opener Shafali Verma showed positive signs at the top and continued from where she left in the first innings. She smashed 63 off 83 balls with 11 fours and a six. Deepti Sharma (54) and Punam Raut (39) also made valuable contributions before the middle-order collapse.
India were struggling at 199/7 when Sneh Rana stood up for the occasion and did the impossible. She first formed a vital 41-run stand with pacer Shikha Pandey (18) and then formed a match-saving unbeaten partnership of 104 runs with wicketkeeper-batter Taniya Bhatia (44 no).
England used almost all their bowlers, but Sneh looked rock solid. She remained unbeaten knock of 80 runs off 154 deliveries when players from both teams decided to shake hands and agreed for a mutual draw with 12 overs of play remaining in the final session. India posted 334 runs for the loss of 8 wickets with a lead of 179.
Shafali, who scored 96 in the first innings and 63 in the second, was named ‘Player of the Match’.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Shafali Verma is a ⭐️. So excited to see her in the Hundred. For now though – love test cricket #ENGvIND
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) June 19, 2021
A story overcoming adversities with courage and determination.
Sneh Rana's father underwent various sacrifices to ensure she could practice, she lost her him days before selection in the test team , and today she has saved the test match for India. Hats off. #INDWvsENGW pic.twitter.com/94KSAqOsQX
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) June 19, 2021
Said on @bbctms early in this Test that we'll see layers in this Indian batting. With players from different eras in this side, we see different styles of batting. In this instance, they've all played their parts. Sabres and shields. Fantastic recovery. So happy for Sneh Rana.
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) June 19, 2021
A brilliant effort by the Indian girls to save the test match. Absolutely loved the resilience shown by Sneh Rana and earlier by Deepti Sharma. Shafali Verma certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Well done @BCCIWomen , this is one to remember for a long time. pic.twitter.com/CNQY5HyGXk
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) June 19, 2021
The performance of the day came from Sneh Rana and it merely confirms my view that India will not be short on quality players in the women's game. It was a fantastic effort today and a shot in the arm for women's cricket.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 19, 2021
Commendable stuff to come from behind to draw this match. Top innings from Sneh Rana & Taniya Bhatia. Special mention to Shafali, Deepti & rest of the girls for pulling this off. @bcciwomen #INDWvENGW pic.twitter.com/5OBYIWjAFt
— Veda Krishnamurthy (@vedakmurthy08) June 19, 2021
Just a few kms away from Southampton, the Indian women's team have done a fabulous job of pulling the rabbit out of the hat. Top drawer stuff.
Take a bow girls!#ENGvIND
— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 19, 2021
Take a bow @BCCIWomen that was a phenomenal performance!! This draw is no less than a win. That partnership from Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia showed the character of this team. Well done👏🏼👏🏼 #ENGWvINDW pic.twitter.com/X1icjz4Oju
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 19, 2021
Sneh Rana ,take a bow.
Could be one of the great match-saving innings #INDWvsENGW
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 19, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) June 20, 2021
Kudos to India’s women’s team for grit and commitment in gaining honourable draw v Eng. At one stage after Shafali fell early and collapse ensued it looked a lost cause. Rana and Tanya Bhatia held their nerve, put on splendid 9th wkt century partnership and saved the day
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 19, 2021
That was some batting from Sneh Rana & Taniya Bhatia who showed resilience to help #TeamIndia secure a draw🔝
Top-notch effort from 🇮🇳.👏🏻 #ENGvIND
Sneh Rana – 8️⃣0️⃣*
Taniya Bhatia – 4️⃣4️⃣*
Their partnership 🤝🏻 – 1️⃣0️⃣4️⃣*
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) June 19, 2021
We’ve seen something very special from Sneh Rana & Taniya Bhatia.
What a partnership 🙌#ENGvIND
— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) June 19, 2021
Seriously heroic from @SnehRana15 and @IamTaniyaBhatia fantastic stuff. Another few minutes of resistance and they have saved a Test match. @TheShafaliVerma and Sneh players of the match for me. @BCCIWomen
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) June 19, 2021