(Photo: England Cricket)
By Adam Ellis
A career-best 94 from Amy Jones was not enough to prevent England slipping to defeat against India to lose the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Heather Knight, seeking to become the first England captain to win an ODI series in India, won the toss in Nagpur and elected to bat first.
After the early dismissal of Tammy Beaumont by Jhulan Goswami for 4, Jones arrived at the crease to deliver an innings that would see the tourists pass the 200 mark.
Jones, of Warwickshire and Loughborough Lightning, was able to kick into gear in a 63-run partnership with Heather Knight for England’s third wicket.
The England skipper scored 36 off 59 balls on a pitch that favoured the seamers rather than spin. Yet it was the spin of Deepti Sharma that wobbled England in their position of comfort.
Knight misjudged Sharma’s off-break to pick out long-on and depart at 90-3.
Nat Sciver quickly followed Knight back to the pavilion 3 overs later and the rest of England’s batting line-up would fail to surpass scores of 20 or more. But Jones’ consummate innings kept the runs flowing to bring England’s total to 201-9 by the end of their 50 overs.
Sadly there was to be no century for Jones, run out for 94 in the final over. Her dismissal was at least partly down to a sore hamstring, an injury that would prevent her from taking the field throughout India’s innings.
Half-centuries by Smriti Mandhana (53), Mithali Raj (74*), and Deepti Sharma (54*) steered the hosts to their target inside 46 overs, despite being 23-2 early on.