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Sophie Ecclestone aiming to ‘win the battle’ with Shafali Verma as England push for victory


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

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 his 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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