1st ODI: England Women keep India Women to 202
Jemimah Rodrigue made 48, Natalie Sciver took 2/29.

The visiting England Women need 203 to claim the series opener, after keeping India Women to 202 in 49.4 overs in the first ODI in Mumbai on Friday.

Heather Knight’s decision to field on a warm morning was vindicated with two wickets each to the trio of Georgia Elwiss, Natalie Sciver and Sophie Ecclestone.

From 69 for no loss, India were reduced to 95/5 and that passage could prove defining in the end result. (READ: Team focused on getting direct entry into 2021 World cup: Mithali Raj)

For India, no player managed a fifty. The opener Jemimah Rodrigues top-scored with 48 off 58 balls and skipper Mithali Raj made 44 from 74. Around these two forties, Smriti Mandhana got 24 and Taniya Bhatia 25, with Jhulan Goswami’s 30 off 37 balls adding some fire at the back-end of the innings.

India made a promising start, with Mandhana’s 24 off 42 balls helping Rodrigues add 69 in 15 overs. Off the first ball of the 16th over, Mandhana was bowled by the medium-pacer Elwiss. Deepti Sharma (7) went next, stumped by Knight off Ecclestone. Then came a collapse from 95/2 to 95/5 as Rodrigues, the debutant Harleen Deol (2) and Mona Meshram (0) were dismissed. (READ: We want to make history in India: Heather Knight)

Sciver got Deol and Meshram, in his first ODI in nearly a year, in the same over.

Mithali and wicketkeeper Bhatia put on 54 for the sixth over before both fell in the span of 22 deliveries. Elwiss won an lbw shout against Mithali and Bhatia was run out, leaving the veteran Goswami and Shikha Pandey to try and get the score towards 200.

Pandey and Ekta Bisht were run out in successive overs at the death, and only a couple big shots in the last two overs from Goswami dented England. She was last out in the final over.

The three-match series, part of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship, continues with the second game on February 25 and final ODI on February 28.

Brief scores: India Women 202 in 49.4 overs (Rodrigues 48, Mithali 44) vs England Women