England suffer ODI series defeat to India after superb Harmanpreet Kaur century

Harmanpreet Kaur celebrates running out Tammy Beaumont

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Harmanpreet Kaur scored a superb century as England women’s cricket slid to a crushing one-day international series defeat against India at Canterbury.

Having lost by seven wickets in the opening game, the hosts needed to square the scoreline on Wednesday to make their long-awaited return to Lord’s this weekend – the first outing at the Home of Cricket for England’s women since the triumphant 2017 World Cup final – a series decider.

But the third Royal London ODI on Saturday – set to be head coach Lisa Keightley’s last match in charge – will be only a dead-rubber following India’s second triumph in four days.

After Smriti Mandhana’s stylish 91 off 99 balls marshalled India’s successful pursuit of 228 at Hove last Sunday, this time it was the turn of skipper Kaur to star for the visiting side.

Kaur brought up her fifth ODI ton in 100 balls before finishing with a spectacular flourish – hitting 43 off her final 11 strikes – as England conceded their second biggest ODI total.

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The hosts needed to better hefty India’s 333 for five to keep the series alive. But after slipping to 12 for two and then 47 for three, England’s already difficult task became nigh on improbable.

Danni Wyatt provided some hope with 65 before the hosts were dismissed for 245 as India celebrated winning their first series on English soil in 23 years.

Harmanpreet Kaur scored 143 not out

England won the toss, elected to bowl, and made an encouraging start at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence when Kate Cross removed Shafali Verma with only the ninth ball of the match.

Charlie Dean caught and bowled Yastika Bhatia for 26 in the 11th over before Sophie Ecclestone took the wicket of Mandhana to leave the visitors on 99 for three.

But Kaur’s remarkable quickfire ton, supported with a fine knock of 58 from Harleen Deol, put India in a dominant position.

Kaur’s brilliance also saw 17-year-old debutant Freya Kemp end with figures of one for 82 – England’s most expensive 10-over spell in ODI cricket.

England’s response started poorly when opener Tammy Beaumont was run out with Sophia Dunkley the next to fall as Renuka Thakur struck in the third over.

Lamb became Thakur’s second victim before Wyatt rallied alongside Alice Capsey to take England into three figures.

Capsey lost her wicket after scoring 39 before England’s slim chances of surpassing India’s total were over when Wyatt was bowled by Thakur in the 29th over to leave England on 167 for five.

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The impressive Thakur ended with figures of four for 57 from 10 overs.

Amy Jones, Sophie Ecclestone and Kemp all fell in quick succession, and despite Dean’s resilient 37 from 44, England were all out in the 45th over, losing by 88 runs.

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