The Indian Women’s cricket team earned a fighting draw against England in the off Test match in Bristol on Saturday. The Indian batswomen played brilliantly and showed their resilience to save the historic Test match after being asked to follow on by England.
All rounder Sneh Rana and wicket-keeper batswomen Taniya Bhatia remained unbeaten on the final day of the Test match to defy England’s bowling attack and ensured a memorable draw for the visitors.
In reply to England’s first innings total of 396 runs, India were all-out for 231 runs in the first innings despite the brilliant opening partnership between debutant Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana. The visitors were asked to follow on and Indian debutant Shafali, Deepti Verma and Sneh Rana grabbed the opportunity perfectly by scoring fifties to post the score of 344/8 and take a 179 run lead.
While Shefali stole the limelight by scoring 96 and 63 respectively in her first Test, Sneh Rana who was also making her debut for India scripted history by becoming the first Indian women cricketer to achieve the elusive feat of taking a four-wicket haul and scoring a half-century in the same match. Sneha Rana becomes the first Indian and fourth in the world to achieve the record feat.
If Deepti Produced a dogged resistance with a 168 ball 54 runs in the top order, Sneh Rana top-scored with an unbeaten 80 off 154 balls and frustrated England bowlers with toe crucial partnerships down the order with Shikha Pandey and Tanya Bhatia respectively.
Sneh Rana coming in to bat at Number 8 stitched together 104 runs unbeaten 9th wicket partnership to help India to draw, which will be remembered for years.
Earlier, Sneh Rana has told that she is dedicating her stellar Test debut performance to her late father, who had died a few days before she was named in the side for the ongoing one-off game against England.
‘I lost my father two months back. When this team was announced a little before that, I lost him. It was a bit difficult. It was an emotional moment because he wanted to see me play again for India, ” Rana said during the press conference that followed after day one’s play on Wednesday’
For the unversed Sneh Rana returned to the Indian side on the back of her brilliant performance in the domestic 50- over tournament earlier this year. Sneh Rana topped the wickets charts for Railways by scalping 18 Wickets with an average of 12.66. With the bat, her 160 runs at a strike rate of 123.07 in the middle order were also pivotal to Railways victorious campaign.
Before this match, Sneha Rana had played 12 matches for India in white-ball Cricket. She has made her international debut against Sri Lanka in January 2014. Her only appearance away from home came in the ODI series against Australia in 2016.
However, the T20 series at home against Sri Lanka in 2016 was the culmination of an uncertain 25 month period where injury and inconsistent form saw her being frequently out of the team and eventually out of the selector’s radar.
Meanwhile, After drawing up the one-off test match, Team India will now shift their focus towards the limited over series against England in a three-match ODI series followed by three T20Is.