Smriti Mandhana (90), Punam Raut (86), and captain Mithali Raj (71) helped India secure an easy 35 run win over England in their opening game of ICC Women’s World Cup. Having set England a target of 282 to win, the Indian bowlers dismissed their opponents for just 246 runs.
Brief Scores: India 281/3 (Smriti Mandhana 90, Punam Raut 86, Mithali Raj 71; Heather Knight 2/41, Danielle Hazell 1/51) beat England 246/10 (Fran Wilson 81, Heather Knight 46; Deepti Sharma 3/47, Shikha Pandey 1/51) by 35 runs.
In the second game of the ICC Women’s World Cup, England won the toss and invited India to bat first. In response, India got off to a strong start as Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana put together a 144-run stand for the first wicket. Mandhana fell 10 runs short of a well-deserved century.
After the dismissal of the 20-year-old in the 27th over of the game, India captain Mithali Raj provided perfect support to Raut. Raj completed her 47th ODI fifty and set a new world record of scoring seven consecutive half-centuries. And though the 34-year-old got out on the last ball of the innings, she and Raut helped India post 281 runs with the loss of the 3 wickets at the end of 50 overs.
In reply, England were off to a poor start as they lost their openers, Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor, by the 11th over with only 42 runs on the scoreboard. Heather Knight showed some fight but missed her fifty by just 4 runs.
The English middle-order kept the scoreboard moving by stealing singles and finding the odd boundary. Fran Wilson was the highest scorer for England as she contributed 81 runs. However, it wasn't good enough on the day as India’s fielders and bowlers backed up their batters and wrapped up the English innings in 48th over to register a 35-run win in their opening match.
India will play West Indies in their next match on 29 June at Taunton.
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