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Women's World Cup: India win Tournament Opener against England

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England fell to a 35-run defeat in their opening game of the ICC Women’s World Cup against India, despite a fine innings from Fran Wilson. Wilson’s 79 had looked like giving England a chance in what would have been a record-breaking chase but when she was run out with 53 still required there was too much left to do for England’s lower order.

India batted first after being put in and they amassed 281-3 from their 50 overs, opener Smriti Mandhana top-scoring with 90 and fellow opener Punam Raut making 86. England were bowled out for 246 in 47.3 overs with Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey scalping three and two wickets, respectively.

 

The Indian eves started off in fine fashion with openers Punam Raut (86) and Smriti Mandhana (90) putting up a 144-run stand in 27 overs. But just when the going seemed good, Mandhana was sent packing by off-spinner Heather Knight. Mandhana, who slammed 11 boundaries and two sixes, was caught at midwicket by Danielle Hazell.

An unperturbed Raut continued to anchor the innings with skipper Mithali Raj (71), and forged a 78-run partnership in 16 overs. But while trying to up the ante, Raut was caught at deep midwicket by Danielle Wyatt off Hazell. Raut's 134 ball knock was laced with seven boundaries and one six.

With the scoreboard reading 222/2 in 42.3 overs, Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur (24 not out) played sensibly and added 59 runs to post a challenging total. Raj, however, was dismissed by Knight on the last ball of the final over. For England, Knight scalped two wickets for 41 runs.

In the other match today, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets in Bristol. Sri Lanka posted 188/9 in their allotted 50 overs with Chamari Atapattu (53) scoring handsomely for the cause. Chasing 189, Suzie Bates (106 not out) and Amy Satterthwaite (78 not out) produced some fine innings to overhaul the target in 38th over.

India's Smriti Mandhana said: "It was really important to give the team a good start. I started well and that gave me confidence and kept me going. That was our plan – to get off to a good start.

"I enjoyed batting with Poonam Raut a lot. We were both facing in-swingers but we had a very good partnership and we should continue that for the rest of the World Cup. I think I gave my wicket away at the wrong time, and next time I will try not to do that – I will try to bat for the 50 overs. I can’t compare my 100 against Australia to this but this is a World Cup, so it is a special one. The last four and a half or five months have been hard for me with the knee injury I picked up but if we do well in the World Cup, it will pay off.”