ICC Women’s World Cup
England v India
North Sydney Oval
England continued victorious in their World Cup campaign beating India by nine wickets in their first televised match of the tournament today.
Captain Charlotte Edwards won the toss on a warm sunny day at the North Sydney Oval and put India into bat first on a hard, dry and grassy wicket with a quick outfield.
Opening bowlers Katherine Brunt and Isa Guha got England off to an absolute flyer in the crunch game of Group B taking two early wickets to leave India on 9-2. Anjum Chopra was the first to go without scoring. She was trapped lbw by Guha with India on 4-1. Thirush Kamini, coming at three, joined Anagha Deshpande in the middle. Deshpande had been dropped in the first over by Caroline Atkins fielding in the slips and had then smashed the next delivery for four. She continued to dominate England’s bowlers smashing Brunt for 6 through mid-wicket
Kamini (three) was the next to fall as she struck the ball straight back to the bowler and Guha claimed her second of the day.
That brought former Indian captain Mithali Raj to the crease in her sun hat. Together she and Deshpande posted 52 before Deshpande was caught at mid-wicket by a diving catch from Lydia Greenway off the bowling of Jenny Gunn for 32 who had replaced Guha with the ball. India were 61-3 as Rumeli Dhar headed to the middle.
Nicky Shaw replaced Brunt at the pavilion end but as India pushed on Edwards decided to bring on the left –arm spinner Holly Colvin in the 28th over to try and contain India’s scoring. Brunt was brought back on from the opposite end to replace Gunn.
Just over the half-way stage, in the 29th over Colvin got the breakthrough as Dhar was stumped by Sarah Taylor for three. With India 92-4 Priyanka Roy joined Raj at the crease. She added four to India’s tally before she was dismissed by another catch from Greenway at mid-wicket off the bowling of Colvin in the 37th over.
Shravanthi Krishnamurthy Naid headed to the middle with her side struggling on 108-5. The two batters added just one to the total before Krishnamurthy Naid was caught behind by Sarah Taylor off Colvin’s bowling without scoring.
The Indian captain Jhulan Goswami was next in for India but she failed to score before she was trapped lbw by Shaw and India were 110-7.
Harmanpreet Kaur joined Raj and they added just 13 before Gunn snared the key wicket of Raj. Greenway was again the fielder who took the catch to dismiss the batter for 59 off 90 balls. Amita Sharma was next in with India in deep trouble on 123-8.
Kaur was Gunn’s next victim as she clean-bowled her in the 44th over for eight and India were 126-9 as Gooher Sultana headed to the middle.
Sultana and Sharma dug deep for India and posted a record tenth wicket partnership of 43 taking India to 169 before the England captain Edwards clean-bowled Sharma for 33 in the 49th over. Sultana was unbeaten on ten.
Colvin was the pick of England’s bowlers taking 3-22 off her ten overs. Gunn also picked up three but was slightly more expensive going for 50 runs from nine overs as the Indians got away at the end of the innings. Guha claimed two scalps while Shaw and Edwards had one apiece.
In reply England’s openers Sarah Taylor and Atkins looked comfortable and got their side off to a decent start posting 47 for the first wicket before Taylor was caught at mid-wicket by Kamini off the bowling of Roy as she pulled a shot for 27.
That brought the centurion against Sri Lanka, Claire Taylor, to the crease. Together she and Atkins saw England through to the required 170 in 38.3 overs, both finishing unbeaten on 69 each with nine fours while Taylor managed a six which she hit straight down the ground.
After the game Player of the Match Caroline Atkins said: “We’re really pleased that we won this crucial game against India today. Our bowlers did a really good job taking wickets and bowling them all out for 169. We then batted in partnerships on a good batting deck to see off the required runs.
“We now go into our final group game against Pakistan on Thursday with four points but we still recognise that there are areas that we need to improve on and we’ll look to keep doing that as we progress through the tournament.”
Head coach Mark Lane added: “It was a much improved performance in all three disciplines today. It was good to see Holly Colvin coming into her own and taking 3-22. We were excellent in the field with Lydia Greenway taking three catches.
“After a slow start with the bat Caroline improved her scoring rate and ended up with 69 not out and was awarded the Player of the Match. It was another blistering performance from Claire Taylor ending the game with a huge six.
“We’ll look forward to taking on Pakistan on Thursday on this beautiful ground with an excellent pitch.”
photo Getty Images