London ball

Alice Capsey impresses as England win series decider against India

A composed display from teenager Alice Capsey saw England at home to India in Bristol, with a seven-wicket win earning the Vitality T20 series.

India, whose victory in Derby had placed the decider, recovered 35 for five at the halfway point to set a target of 123.

After looking well placed, flyhalf Sophia Dunkley fell just short of another 50 balls before substitute skipper Amy Jones lasted just five balls.

South East Stars striker Capsey, however, steadied the ship alongside Bryony Smith to see England cross the line in the 19th.

England, showing a change as Issy Wong entered the squad for Lauren Bell, won the coin toss, with Jones choosing to play first.

After Jones missed a chance to fire Shafali Verma on the second delivery of the innings, Wong hit to retire the opener with a knuckle ball that swung out of the batter’s foot and back onto the stump of the leg.

India also quickly lost Sabbineni Meghana – who had done half a century in Derby – to a duck as Danni Wyatt took a fine diving catch off Freya Davies.

Dayalan Hemalatha got away quickly without disturbing the scorers as Jones clawed back a big advantage from Sarah Glenn’s opener.

As India struggled to find boundaries, five-year-old captain Harmanpreet Kaur was the next out, cleanly beaten by Glenn as she descended from the wicket.

England successfully reviewed an lbw call against Sneh Rana (eight), with Sophie Ecclestone’s weak delivery hitting on the back foot, as India collapsed to 52 for six.

Indian striker Richa Ghosh had hit back (David Davies/PA)

Jones then slammed into Deepti Sharma, ending his raise attempts at a near run-a-ball 24, before wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh went on the offensive with three successive boundaries off Wong to push the India around a century.

Ghosh (33) was finally stopped when he was caught trying to sweep Ecclestone in penultimate India 103 for eight. Pooja Vastrakar finished in style, undefeated 19-11, and Radha Yadav was five steps out. Ecclestone claimed three for 25.

England fly-half Dunkley – whose unbeaten 61 helped England to a dominant nine-wicket win in the opener at Chester-le-Street – was soon in on the chase.

India finally severed the partnership when Wyatt (22) was taken deep by Radha Yadav off Rana as England then went down to 71 for a halfway mark.

After being frustrated at facing a Yadav maiden in the 49th, Dunkley then lost her temper as she was knocked down by setter Vastrakar when swinging for a boundary.

India kept the pressure on as Jones (three) lasted just five balls before Yadav pulled her off the stump, leaving the hosts suddenly stalled at 79 for three.

Capsey, however, quickly calmed all nerves as the 18-year-old went 38 from 24, with six limits, alongside Smith’s unbeaten 13 to guide England to safety.

England's Amy Jones (centre) and her teammates celebrate
England captain Amy Jones (centre) hailed her team’s collective efforts over the three games (David Davies/PA)

Jones praised his team’s efforts, having taken on the role of captain after substitute skipper Nat Sciver pulled out of camp.

“I’m just proud of the whole group, the way everyone stepped up at different times was brilliant,” Jones said on Sky Sports Cricket.

“It was very different and quite daunting going into the first game, but as soon as we got to Durham it was clear everyone was so excited and ready to help.

“As a group we knew it wasn’t an ideal circumstance at the start, that’s why it makes it even better. It’s been great.

Jones thinks Capsey has more than proven his worth. The England captain added: “She is so good, has all the shots and plays so freely.

“It’s refreshing to see and I’m very happy to have her on our side.”