England women floored by top-notch batting display; Mandhana, Yastika and Harmanpreet combine to make run chase easy
Harmanpreet Kaur-led India Women start off the three-ODI series against England Women with a convincing seven-wicket win at County Ground, Hove. Smriti Mandhana's 91-run knock backed by half-centuries from Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet helped India chase down 228 with 34 balls to spare.
In the middle overs, skipper Harmanpreet supported Mandhana well. The opener got to her half-century from 61 deliveries. After the halfway mark, Smriti started to accelerate. She was set to breach the three figures but Cross got her wicket in the 47th over. Mandhana's 99-ball 91 was laced with 10 fours and one six.
Harleeon Deol joined Harmanpreet in the middle but the skipper did the bulk of scoring. She got to her half-century from 80 deliveries. She finished the run chase in the 45th over with a six. The 33-year-old remained unbeaten for 74 off 94 deliveries including seven fours and one six.
Earlier, Harmanpreet won the toss and opted to bowl first. The move worked well for India as Meghna Singh and Jhulan Goswami did not let English openers get off to a flier. Meghna got the wicket of Emma Lamb (12) whereas Tammy Beaumont got lbw to Jhulan Goswami.
In-form Sophia Dunkley tried to stitch a partnership with Alice Capsey together but Sneh Rana got the debutant's wicket. Capsey scored 19 runs off 28 deliveries. Struggling to score freely, Dunkley made a mistake too and lost her wicket to Harleen Deol.
Soon enough wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones went back to the pavillion as well as she got bowled by Rajeshwari Gayakward. In the 27th over, England were reduced to 94/5.
Wyatt missed her half-century as Deepti got the wicket. She scored 43 runs from 50 deliveries including three boundaries. Richards and Sophie Ecclestone stitched a crucial partnership for the sixth wicket to get England close to the 200-run mark. Once again, Deepti broke the partnership. Ecclestone got lbw after scoring 31 runs including four fours.
In the death overs, Richards and Charlotte's unbeaten 49-run partnership helped England post a respectable total of 227/7. Richards remained unbeaten for 50 off 61 deliveries whereas Dean scored 24 from 21 deliveries.
While Deepti took two wickets for 33 runs, experienced Jhulan turned out to be the most economical as she conceded 20 runs from 10 overs including two maidens.