India defeated England by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 International of the three-match series on Wednesday at County Cricket Ground, Derby, with opener Smriti Mandhana’s 79 and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten 29.

With the help of Smriti’s magnificent undefeated innings, India was able to successfully chase down the low score that the hosts England had set. She was well supported by her captain all the way through to enable India to secure their maiden series victory, which allowed the visitors to draw the series at one.

After Freya Kemp became the youngest woman to score a T20I fifty for England and assisted her side in reaching a low total, the Indian team made a respectable start to their run chase. Ace batsman Mandhana was joined by Shafali Verma to start the inning. In the powerplay, the pair pounded a barrage of boundaries against the English bowlers. The first innings MVP Freya Kemp, who entered to bowl the fifth over, was praised by the southpaw Mandhana. Kemp was put through the wringer and hit for four boundaries, one of which came off a free hit. Kemp cost money when he conceded 19 runs in his first over.

India was winning easily until Sophie Ecclestone entered the game. She caused Shafali Verma to be caught and bowled off the last ball of the powerplay, giving England the crucial breakthrough they needed. With a score of 55-1, the visitors expertly finished the powerplay. Shafali’s departure allowed Dayalan Hemalatha to take her place. The English bowlers were not troubled by Hemlatha, who was out shortly after reaching just nine runs in the ninth over and bringing the Indian skipper to the crease.