SPORT

Anjum guides India to victory

Kamesh Srinivasan

LUCKNOW: Former skipper Anjum Chopra struck an impressive 71 as she guided the Indian women to a thrilling four-wicket victory over England with four balls to spare in the second ODI at the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium here on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Delhi player had returned to her opener slot from No. 3 and the change worked, as the left-hander was able to provide the much-needed thrust to the Indian batting that eventually helped the host level the series 1-1.

Chasing a modest 163, India was threatened in the end by a fighting English side, but Jhulan Goswami and Amita Sharma ensured an Indian victory.

Anjum was declared the `eve of the match' for her 132-ball knock that was studded with three boundaries.

Anjum was out with India needing ten runs, as she tried to flick Beth Morgan in the 48th over. Two more wickets fell in the next over, but Amita struck the winning runs.

Skipper Mithali Raj, who got out for 15, said that she was pleased with the win.

"I would have batted first, had I won the toss," said Mithali, as she suggested the difficulty of chasing on the pitch.

Tight spell

Opening bowler Beth Morgan captured two wickets for England, but it was skipper Charlotte Edwards who stood out with her tight spell.

However, Jenny Gunn loosened England's grip with two beamers in the 47th over that saw her being removed after three balls. England conceded eight runs in that over.

Earlier, England was shaken by the sharp bowling of Amita Sharma and Jhulan Goswami as they shared five wickets and reduced the visitor to 95 for seven. However, the English tail prospered thanks to Caroline Atkins who top-scored with 34 and was involved in a 62-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Beth Morgan.

The scores:

England: C. Edwards lbw b Amita 20; L. Newton b Amita 0; C. Taylor b Amita 9; J. Gunn (run out) 19; A. Brindle lbw b Jhulan 23; C. Atkins b Jhulan 34, R. Birch b Reema 5; L. Harper b Reema 1; B. Morgan (not out) 15; J. Smit (not out) 2; Extras (b-3, lb-12, w-19): 34; Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs): 162.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-28, 3-40, 4-78, 5-78, 6-89, 7-95, 8-157.

India bowling: Jhulan 10-1-22-2; Amita 9-1-27-3; Rumeli 7-2-17-0; Neetu 9-0-30-0; Varsha 7-0-29-0; Reema 8-0-22-2.

India: M. Sumra c Newton b Edwards 37; A. Chopra b Morgan 71; M. Raj c Morgan b Guha 15; Karuna b Morgan 1; R. Dhar c Lydia (sub) b Gunn 16, A. Kirkire (run out) 0; J. Goswami (not out) 3; A. Sharma (not out) 2; Extras (nb-3, w-15) 18; Total (for six wkts. in 49.2 overs): 163.

Fall of wickets: 1-95, 2-126, 3-130, 4-153, 5-155, 6-160.

England bowling: Gunn 9.3-1-29-1; Morgan 7.2-0-27-2; Guha 10-0-31-1; Harper 3-0-20-0, Birch 9.3-2-37-0; Edwards 10-3-19-1.