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Women’s Test – England vs India

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Spinner says “whoever breaks first will lose battle” ahead of final day

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Sophie Ecclestone is relishing the battle with Shafali Verma as England and India prepare to face off on the final day of their one-off Test in Bristol.

Ecclestone, England’s left-arm spinner and the No. 1-ranked T20I bowler in the world, added three wickets to her overnight tally of one as the home side bowled India out for a first-innings 231 and enforced the follow-on.

But Verma, the No. 1-ranked T20I batter in the world, was India’s star for a second day running, following her debut Test innings of 92 with an unbeaten 55 as her side closed at 83 for 1 on a rain-interrupted third day, still 82 runs behind.

She was joined by another India debutant, Deepti Sharma, who was not out 18 after opener Smriti Mandhana had been dismissed for 8 on the last ball before lunch, a wicket Ecclestone described as “crucial”.

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