Double defeat for tourists

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor top scored for England women’s Academy but it was not enough to prevent them suffering a nine-wicket defeat to Poona

England women's Academy ended their tour of India in disappointing fashion when they lost two Twenty20 matches against the Poona Club.

Vishal Choudhary stuck eight fours and two sixes as he made 60 from 44 balls to help Poona Club to a nine-wicket victory in the first game of the day.

The tourists then lost by the tightest of margins as Poona Club & MCA Women’s team sealed a four-wicket win with one ball to spare. Aaqib Shaikh’s unbeaten 61 proved the difference between the two teams.

Hopes were high heading into today as the women’s Academy had claimed two wins from their previous matches on the tour. However, their target of extending the run was dented when they set a below-par total after being asked to bat by Poona.

It could have been worse had the hosts not conceded 28 extras, 16 of those coming from wide deliveries.

Sarah Taylor top-scored, hitting three boundaries on the way to 24, but wickets falling at regular intervals saw the women’s Academy post a total of 107 for eight from their 20 overs.

Nil Jain was the pick of the bowlers, with 2-14, although Choudhary was incredibly economical as he claimed 1-9 from his four overs.

Choudhary then made his presence felt with the bat as he raced to a half-century and, although he was run out with 31 more runs still needed, Fahid Khalid and Prithvi Ghosal guided the hosts to a comprehensive win inside 19 overs.

Looking to respond to the setback, the tourists decided to bat against Poona Club & MCA Women’s team.

Alice MacLeoad was bowled by Prem Jadhav in the second over but Helen Shipman and Arran Brindle put on a second wicket partnership of 34 to steady the ship.

Shipman and Brindle fell in quick succession for 14 and 19 respectively, while Tamsin Beaumont and Kate Cross were the only other players to reach double figures.

Devika Vaidya, Tushar Ladkat and Sanet Tudvekar all claimed two wickets to restrict the Academy to 104 for eight.

Beth MacGregor and Cross picked up a wicket apiece to reduce the hosts to three for two in reply but Shaikh and Snehal Pradham put on 52 for the third wicket.

Raveena Lakhtaria took two wickets in an over to put the tourists back in contention, but their failure to dislodge Shaikh was telling.

The opener was in danger of running out of partners when Beth Langston took two wickets but Shaikh kept her resolve and her 49-ball knock helped the hosts to victory from the penultimate ball of the 20 overs.