Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbeaten century went in vain as England fought their way to script a 32-run victory over India at the Brabourne stadium, Mumbai.
Chasing a daunting total of 274 India’s chase got off to a disastrous start losing quick wickets. Thirush Kamini, centurion from the previous match was trapped in front of the wicket for just two runs by Katherine Brunt. Brunt struck yet again in the seventh over with the priced wicket of skipper Mithali Raj.
Despite being three wickets down, Harmanpreet Kaur infused a positive approach scoring at a healthy strike rate. She was ably supported by Karuna Jain who was forced to adopt a cautious approach as England gave nothing away with some tight fielding.
Soon after their fifty runs partnership, both batswomen took calculated risks by using their feet more often and chipping over the infield to keep the run-rate in check. Kaur and Karuna completed their respective half-centuries as India looked to up the ante. Arran Brindle finally managed to get the much needed breakthrough for England by dismissing Karuna for 56 runs, which included five hits to the fence. Jhulan Goswami was yet again promoted up the order to increase the scoring rate. Despite rotating the strike India failed to find the much needed boundaries as the pressure kept mounting.
Goswami fell in the last over of the powerplay as India needed 101 in the last ten overs. Kaur continued to impress as she single-handedly took on the English bowlers and looked completely calm under pressure. Reema Malhotra supported Kaur to stitch a quick half-century partnership. However, some reckless batting towards the end saw the game slip away. India lost as many as three wickets with score reading 225. It was too much to ask for Kaur from thereon. Her unbeaten century knock included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Katherine Brunt was the pick of the bowlers as she picked four wickets for 29 runs. Though Holly Colvin could'nt scalp any wicket, she was instrumental in containing the Indians giving just 29 runs in her quota of ten overs.
England who came into this game at the back of a shock defeat against Sri Lanka gave nothing away and made the Indians work hard for their runs. Earlier in the day, being put into bat first, skipper Charllote Edwards led from the front scoring a fine century. Edwards also went past Belinda Clarke to become the highest scorer in women’s cricket and completed 1000 runs in World Cup. The rest of the batswomen rallied around Edwards and scored handful knocks to take their team to a respectable total which was eventually enough to see them through to their first victory in this World Cup.
India will now take on Sri Lanka while England will face West Indies on February 5.
Brief Scores: England Women 278 for 8 in 50 overs (Charlotte Edwards 109, Arran Brindle 37*; Jhulan Goswami 2 for 50, Niranjana Nagarajan 2 for 56) bt India Women 240 for 9 in 50 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 109*, Karu Jain 56; Katherine Brunt 4 for 29, Danielle Wyatt2 for 52) by 32 runs.
First Published: February 3, 2013, 4:32 pm