Thursday, 21 August 2014

England v India 1st ODI

England duly completed a comprehensive win over India in their first ICC Women's Championship game, truncated by heavy showers during the day, and finally ended when the rain returned at about 5.20pm. India had scored 193/8 in an innings reduced to 47 overs after two rain delays of five minutes and 51 minutes. An opening stand of 110 between Charlotte Edwards (57) and Heather Knight (53) in 20 overs ensured England were never in trouble and they were 153/5 when the rain ended the game.

The Indian innings was built around another fine knock from 18 year old Indian opener Sriti Mandhana, who made a stylish 74 (99 balls), driving with exquisite timing off both the back and front foot. She and skipper Mithali Raj (34) added 64 for the third wicket, but that was India's only major partnership. Mandhana lost her opening partner Kamini (2) early on to Shrubsole caught behind by Taylor, and Shrubsole then accounted for Jain (1), well caught at first slip by Heather Knight coming forward. India were 13/2 in the 6th over. Mandhana and Raj then put the innings on a more even keel, but they still found boundaries hard to come by.When Raj went it was in the 22nd over and India still only had 77 on the board.

Kaur (8 off 31 balls) did little for the run rate as she continued her scratchy tour. She eventually paddled a filthy legside ball from Knight to Edwards at backward square leg to end the agony. Mandhana then found a willing partner in Vellaswamy Vanitha (27) and they began to pick the run rate up a little. Mandhana was looking imperious, but then set off for a non-existent run from the non-striker's end and was rightly sent back by Vanitha. Gunn picked the ball up at square leg and threw it to Shrubsole at the stumps and Mandhana was run out by about a yard. It was a sad end to another very good innings.

With seven overs left Vanitha and the new bat Goswami then decided it was time to swing the bat, but neither had the required timing to get the ball far off the square. Goswami (2) then fell in similar fashion to Mandhana, setting off for a run which was not there, being sent back and being well out - Sciver returning the ball to bowler Gunn, who threw down the stumps from two yards away. In the next over Vanitha lost her head a little, when she needed to keep it firmly on her shoulders. She charged down the wicket at Knight and was easily stumped by Taylor as she ran past the ball. India were 159/7 with five overs less one ball to come. In Knight's next over she had her third victim (3/26) as Niranjana advanced down the wicket and yorked herself. Shikha Pandey hit a couple of lusty blows towards the end of the India innings, but they could only manage to work the score to 193/8, which looked under-par.

And so it proved. England never really looked like they were going to struggle to get the runs they needed, no matter what the weather did. They raced away with boundaries flowing freely from the bats of Edwards and Knight. They sprinted to 44/0 after just five overs and never really looked back after that. Having got ahead of the rate they were content to push three or four an over in singles, with even Edwards dabbing and running the occasional quick single. It was a surprise when Edwards (57) played on to Bisht attempting to cut a ball that was a bit too close to her, which came in with the arm. It was the 43rd ODI fifty from the England skipper. A couple of overs after Edwards fell Knight got to her own 50, only to fall three overs later slog sweeping Bisht to cow corner where Vanitha took a good diving catch. Sarah Taylor (20*) and Lauren Winfield (15) took the score to 148, but just before the black clouds turned into heavy rain, Winfield mishit an on-drive off Goswami straight to Mandhana at mid-on. It was the last significant action as the rain ended the game with England having taken their score to 153/5. The DL score at this stage was 111, so they ended up winning by 42 runs. Heather Knight was duly named Player of the Match - quite a turnaround after her 1 and 0 in the Test Match last week.

England have claimed their first two points in the ICC Women's Championship. There are two more ODIs to come in this series - one here on Staurday and then at Lord's on Monday.

(full scorecard here)


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