England v India: Charlotte Edwards leads her side to victory

 

Women's World Cup, Group A, Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium):

England 272-8 (50 overs) beat India 240-9 (50 overs) by 32 runs

Match scorecard (external site)

Captain Charlotte Edwards struck a brilliant century as England kick-started their World Cup campaign with a 32-run win over hosts India.

Edwards' 109 took the defending champions to 272-8 in Mumbai and also saw her become the highest run-scorer in women's one-day internationals.

India were then reduced to 29-3 by the pace of Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole and, despite an unbeaten hundred from Harmanpreet Kaur, the hosts could only close on 240-9.

With West Indies thrashing Sri Lanka in Sunday's other Group A game,  England know victory over the Windies on Tuesday will guarantee them a place in the Super Six stage.

Test Match Special analysis

"Katherine Brunt's been the key today, I just don't think many bowlers [in the women's game] have that extra pace in their armoury. A few years ago, you wouldn't have thought of bowling that many bouncers - the game is changing."

And an India win over Sri Lanka in the final round of group matches could create the right set of circumstances for England to carry the maximum four points through to the next round - rendering the shock opening defeat by minnows Sri Lanka meaningless.

In that game on Friday, England were far below their best, but here, led by Edwards, they outplayed the hosts despite the significant disadvantage of losing the toss.

As tall pace bowler Jhulan Goswami took advantage of the chance to bowl in the dewy, humid conditions to have Danielle Wyatt caught at slip, Edwards was watchful to negate the India attack's biggest threat.

Sarah Taylor, back in the side after a hamstring injury, was driving fluently as soon as she came to the crease but, when Edwards eventually found some rhythm with cuts to the boundary, she outscored her partner.

The Kent batter overtook Belinda Clark's previous world record of 4,484 runs when she moved from 53 to 57 by slapping the leg-spin of Reema Malhotra through the covers.

And, despite seeing Taylor run out by Amita Sharma's direct hit from mid-on to end a stand of 100, Edwards moved towards a century with sweeps and drives on both sides of the wicket.

Now in the company of the strong leg-side hitting of Lydia Greenway, Edwards reached her seventh ODI century by late-cutting Goswami for four.

After Greenway was held at mid-on off Goswami and the promoted pinch-hitting of Brunt added impetus in the powerplay, Edwards' stylish knock was ended through no fault of her own as she was left short by Arran Brindle's call for a single on the off side.

Top women's ODI run-scorers

1) Charlotte Edwards (England) 4,901 runs

2) Belinda Clark (Australia) 4,844

3) Karen Rolton (Australia) 4,814

4) Mithali Raj (India) 4,499

5) Claire Taylor (England) 4,101

Brindle was also involved in the run out of Heather Knight but, with the help of Laura Marsh's innovation, she scampered England to a total far in excess of India's previous highest successful chase of 230.

It seemed as though the hosts would need a telling contribution from in-form opening pair Poonam Raut and Thirush Kamini or captain Mithali Raj, but all three fell cheaply.

First Brunt found swing back into Kamini to trap the left-hander lbw, then she tempted Raj to upper-cut to Shrubsole at third man. When Raut was leg before playing across Shrubsole, India were up against it.

Kaur and Karuna Jain managed to rebuild with a fourth-wicket partnership of 106 but, as the hosts fell further behind the pace, Jain was caught at point off Brindle for 56 when looking to accelerate.

Though England saw Shrubsole limp off the pitch, their improvement from the defeat by Sri Lanka was demonstrated by Knight's catch to dismiss Goswami. On Friday, England dropped three costly chances but now Knight spectacularly leapt high and right at mid-off to hold the chance off Marsh.

Kaur remained, the wicketkeeper launching the only two sixes of the match as she completed a maiden ODI century.

However, by this point, the task was already beyond India and three wickets in three balls - two to Brunt and one to Wyatt - emphasised that England's World Cup defence was back on track.

In the other Group A game, Stafanie Taylor smashed 171 from 137 balls as the Windies posted 368-8 against Sri Lanka  before bowling out their opponents for 159.

In Group B, Australia edged to a three-wicket victory over South Africa  while New Zealand beat Pakistan  by seven wickets - meaning both victors progress to the Super Six stage, while Pakistan and South Africa meet on Tuesday to decide that group's final qualifier.