After becoming the Champions in World Cup Qualifiers in Sri Lanka in February, Indian Women kicked off their first match against the mighty England. English skipper won the toss and elected to field first considering the overcast conditions. Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Raut opened the innings for India.
Right from the word go, Smriti started picking up the gaps and scored fluently. She picked the line and length so quickly and hammered the balls. At once she was going at a strike rate of 200. Poonam Raut played sensible cricket and never failed to hit the bad balls to the boundaries. England have had their chances to break this partnership but they keep on dropping them. India lost their first wicket, Smith Mandhana scoring a blistering 68 ball 90 when India was at 144 runs and the skipper Mithali Raj accompanied Poonam in moving the score card. Poonam (86) got out trying a slog sweep in the final overs of the innings. Mithali Raj scored her 7th consecutive ODI fifty and made a world record in women's cricket. India made a solid 281/3 in the 50 overs.
England were struggling right from their first over of chasing the target. They kept on chipping the balls on air and lucky enough that are landed in the gaps. After losing wickets in the regular intervals, India made England were never in the chase. The heroics from Wilson (81) was too late in the game. Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey picked up 3 and 2 wickets each. Finally India won the match by 35 runs, to kick off their World Cup campaign with a stunning victory.
POD - Smriti Mandhana
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