India enjoy a dream start to the Women’s World cup beating England by 35 runs in Derby.
Openers Smriti Mandhana (90) and Punam Raut (86) took advantage of some poor England bowling, before Captain Mithali Raj (71) took India to an unassailable 281-3.
It was an imposing target for the home nation and England struggled to 67-3 in reply and eventually the hosts were bowled out for 246.
India, ranked two places below England in the world rankings, played with intensity, showing what they are capable of with both bat and ball.
India’s opening batswomen, Mandhana and Raut, set the tone and played with vigour. Mandhana enjoyed a stylish innings and her partnership with Raut, who survived three dropped catches until her wicket finally fell, ran up 144 runs.
Inspirational captain Raj arrived to share 78 for the second wicket with Raut.
When England came into bat, India turned on the style with ball in hand. Some clever bowling and exceptional fielding put England on the back foot. The home side did not give up though and India still needed something special.
England needed 68 runs from the final nine overs, but India’s fielding prowess came to the fore. Brunt was run out by Deepti Sharma’s direct hit from point, then Wilson fell to bowler Bisht’s incredible flick back on to the non-striker’s stumps and the game was up. India with a crucial early victory.
India captain Mithali Raj, taking part in her fifth World Cup, said: “It was a brilliant partnership between our openers. I realised the wicket isn’t much of an assistance to the bowlers so I knew it would be challenging for England.”
- The Women’s World Cup is an eight-team tournament where each side play each other before the semi-finals
- India’s next game is against the West Indies in Taunton on Wednesday, England play on Tuesday, against Pakistan in Leicester
- England’s Natalie Sciver became the first woman to be dismissed in international cricket via the Decision Review System, when she was judged caught behind by Sushma Verma off Deepti Sharma
- India recorded their first ODI victory over England in eight attempts – the last coming in 2012 at Taunton
- India also made their highest ODI score against England, beating the 243-4 in Kolkata in 2005, and their sixth-highest against any team