|ICC Women’s World Cup, Derby:|
|India 281-3 (50 overs): Mandhana 90, Raut 86, Raj 71, Knight 2-41|
|England 246 (47.2 overs): Wilson 81, Knight 46|
|India won by 35 runs|
England were stunned on the opening day of the Women’s World Cup, losing by 35 runs to India in Derby.
Openers Smriti Mandhana (90) and Punam Raut (86) took advantage of some poor England bowling, before Mithali Raj (71) lifted India to 281-3.
England stumbled to 67-3 in reply and though Fran Wilson made 81, she was run out brilliantly by Ekta Bisht and the hosts were bowled out for 246.
England next play on Tuesday, against Pakistan in Leicester.
That will represent a good opportunity to register a first victory, in an eight-team tournament where each side play each other before the semi-finals.
However, an England defeat in that game, or the matches against Sri Lanka and South Africa that follow, would be a huge setback, with sterner tests against Australia, New Zealand and West Indies to follow.
The Kiwis began their campaign with a routine nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
England caught cold by brilliant India
On this evidence, England will have to improve if they are to end a global trophy drought that dates back to 2009.
They came unstuck against an inspired India side who are two places below them in the world rankings, in fourth, but showed more intent with the bat, more discipline with the ball and some electricity in the field.
On an overcast morning, England looked to have gained an advantage by bowling first, but Mandhana and Raut, who was dropped three times, seized the initiative.
England struggled with the bat as India took pace off the ball, playing ineffective sweeps until the hitting of Wilson and Katherine Brunt provided belated hope.
India batters shine in Derby
Elegant left-hander Mandhana set the tone for India’s brilliant day, scoring freely off the back foot as Brunt bowled too short with the new ball.
Right-hander Raut favoured the front foot and survived what was a tough chance for Nat Sciver when on 20, a skier to Tammy Beaumont on 21 and a straightforward opportunity for Anya Shrubsole on 77.
The openers ran well in a stand of 144 that was only ended when Mandhana hit Heather Knight’s off-spin to mid-wicket.
Classy captain Raj arrived to share 78 for the second wicket with Raut, who eventually holed out on the leg-side boundary off Danielle Hazell.
It was the spinners who gave England more control, but when Harmanpreet Kaur arrived, both she and Raj used their feet to add 52 from the final seven overs.
Wilson knock in vain for England
Wilson, in only her seventh one-day international, may not have been playing but for Lauren Winfield being ruled out with a wrist injury.
She joined Knight to rebuild after the England top order failed – among them Sarah Taylor, returning to an international cricket after a year away with an anxiety-related issue, who made 22.
It was Knight who first raised the tempo, hitting two straight sixes before attempting a run to bowler Kaur and failing to beat the direct hit.
When Wilson was joined by Brunt, they continued to show more willingness to hit the ball, building a stand of 62 in only seven overs.
Sixty-eight runs were needed from the final nine overs, but 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.
Stats of the day
- 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
- Fran Wilson, with 81, not only scored her maiden ODI half-century, she also nearly trebled her total of ODI career runs, which stood at 41 before the match
- India recorded their first ODI victory over England in eight attempts – the last coming in 2012 at Taunton
- They also made their highest ODI score against England, beating the 243-4 in Kolkata in 2005, and their sixth-highest against any team
- England last had four or more players run out in the same innings against West Indies in Jamaica last October
What they said
England captain Heather Knight: “It’s not the way we wanted to start, but Pakistan started in a similar way in the Champions Trophy and they did pretty well.
“We didn’t start well with the ball, we didn’t get our lengths right and they punished us. I don’t think it’s anything to do with freezing. We didn’t bowl the way we wanted to and India put the pressure on us.”
India captain Mithali Raj: “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.”
Ex-England captain Charlotte Edwards on Test Match Special: “We all wanted India to come to the party – and they set the tone right from the first over, showing they mean business.
“After a disappointing 2013 World Cup at home, they’ve backed themselves and played with confidence, and Mithali Raj has clearly done her homework on England.”
White Ferns stroll to Bristol victory
Meanwhile, New Zealand thrashed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in Bristol in the other opening game.
Sri Lanka collapsed from 141-1 to 188-9 after seamer Holly Huddleston took 5-35.
The White Ferns then took charge as captain Suzie Bates (106 not out) and Amy Satterthwaite (78 not out) shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 170 as eight Sri Lanka bowlers failed to separate them.
Bates, top scorer at the 2013 World Cup, is the early leader for 2017 – and earlier, she had also used eight bowlers after Sri Lanka started well.
After the top three players – Nipuni Hansika (31), Chamari Polgampola (49) and Chamari Atapattu (53) – departed, only one Sri Lankan made double figures as Huddleston ripped through the tail.