Second Twenty20 international, The Incora County Ground, DerbyEngland 142-6 (20 overs): Kemp 51* (37), Bouchier 34 (26); Rana 3-24India 146-2 (16.4 overs): Mandhana 79* (53), Kaur 29* (22)India won by eight wicketsScorecardOpener Smriti Mandhana made an unbeaten 79 to guide India to an eight-wicket win over England and set up a decider in the three-match Twenty20 series.
Chasing 143 to win, India got home with 20 balls left in Derby, as Mandhana hit 13 fours in her 53-ball innings.
She was supported by Harmanpreet Kaur’s 29 not out and Shafali Verma’s 20.
Earlier England made 142-6, having been 18-3 and 54-5, with 17-year-old Freya Kemp hitting a maiden half-century, smashing an unbeaten 51 off 37 balls.
India were much improved from their ragged performance in the series’ opening game on Saturday, with Radha Yadav superb in the field and Sneh Rana taking 3-24.
They were then backed up by a brilliant Mandhana, who made her 17th T20 half-century, and her sixth against England, with a classy show of power and guile.
The final match in the T20 series takes place at Bristol on Thursday (18:30 BST), before three one-day internationals follow from Sunday.
Kemp impresses but England’s inexperience shows
England, who are missing their three most experienced and influential players in captain Heather Knight, vice-captain Nat Sciver and fast bowler Katherine Brunt, have spoken about wanting to be more aggressive in Twenty20 cricket, which can lead to off days.
This was one of them.
There were soft dismissals at the start, with Sophia Dunkley again falling to spin as she was stumped off Deepti Sharma, before Danni Wyatt was caught at slip and Alice Capsey was run out after a miscommunication with Bryony Smith.
Stand-in skipper Amy Jones and Smith steadied the ship before both fell quickly, leaving Freya Kemp and Maia Bouchier, who made an international career-best 34, to drag them towards a competitive total.
Kemp took advantage of anything in her arc, crashing three big sixes and three fours, but India learnt quickly and effectively tied her down with some wide bowling, after she raced to 24 off 12 balls.
England were not as clinical as they usually are in the field, with some sloppy misfields, epitomised by Danni Wyatt dropping Harmanpreet Kaur on 19.
Kemp also started with a no-ball, with both the initial delivery and free hit going for four, while Capsey started with five wides.
There were some encouraging signs with Lauren Bell coming back well to finish with figures of 0-23, having gone for 14 from her first two overs, while Freya Davies dismissed Dayalan Hemalatha with a beautiful ball that hit top of off stump.
‘Mandhana was poetry in motion’ – reaction
England spinner Sophie Ecclestone: “I don’t think we got enough runs tonight. We would have liked 20-30 more runs on the board, but Mandhana showed her class.
“It was amazing to see Kempy and Bouch bat so well together – that is a good sign for the future.
“Kempy is so calm, nothing seems to faze her. You would think she’s got a 25-year-old’s head on her shoulders.”
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “The way we corrected Saturday was something that we’ve discussed and I’m glad that we’ve been able to do that.
“It was really important for us that we executed our plans and I’m really happy with how the bowlers executed them today.
“The game is very important on Thursday. Whenever we get to that final game in World Cups or Commonwealth Games we are always nervous so it is a good opportunity for us to get used to that sort of thing and express ourselves.”
Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta on BBC Four: “Mandhana was poetry in motion. She didn’t muscle it, it comes so naturally for her. She was a treat to watch bat today.”