Over 2,300 spectators attended, while millions watched around the world, as India beat England in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 opener in Derby.
A world record seventh successive half-century from Captain Mithali Raj and an opening stand of 144 between Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Raut helped India to 281-3 from their 50 overs.
The near capacity crowd then witnessed a thrilling run-chase as England fell 35 runs short, despite 81 from Fran Wilson and 46 from Heather Knight.
England won the toss and elected to open their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign by bowling first. India openers Raut and Mandhana scored quickly, reaching their 50 partnership from 56 balls, including one six and nine fours.
20-year old Mandhana powered her way to her sixth One-Day International half-century in her first ever World Cup match as India took a firm grip of the match early on.
Raut joined Mandahna in reaching the milestone, before the left-handed Mandahna was out ten short of her century, caught by Danielle Hazell off Knight.
Raut was finally dismissed after she was caught by Danielle Wyatt at deep mid-wicket, reaching 86 from 134 balls with seven fours and one six, ending her 78-run second wicket partnership with Raj.
The India Captain reached her 47th ODI half century, overtaking the record previously held by England’s Charlotte Edwards, as India powered past 250. She was out to the last ball of the innings, caught by Katherine Brunt off Knight for 71, India finishing on 281-3.
India’s bowling unit got off to a good start, creating uncertainty for the batsmen until Tammy Beaumont was eventually dismissed for 14, caught by Mnadhana off Shikha Pandey, leaving England at 33-1.
Sarah Taylor followed shortly after as she was caught by Mona Meshram from the bowling of Pandey for just 22, this left England in trouble at 42-2 from 11 overs.
Natalie Sciver could only manage 18 runs from her 21 balls before a successful Indian review showed that she had edged a ball off her gloves to the wicketkeeper from Deepti Sharma’s first delivery.
England hit their first six of their innings after 29 overs as Knight and Wilson reached their 50 partnership, followed by another six from Knight the next ball.
Wickets continued to fall as Knight was run out by Kaur for 46 from 69 balls, leaving England at 134-4 with 19 overs remaining.
Danielle Wyatt came and went, caught and bowled by Sharma for nine from as many deliveries. Wilson, who was joined by Brunt, made her maiden half-century for England from 57 balls, hitting two fours, taking England to 169-5 and leaving them requiring 113 runs from their last 14 overs.
A flurry of wickets halted the England comeback as first Brunt was run out for 24, then Wilson suffered the same fate, out for a well-made 81 from 75 balls. Jenny Gunn (9) became the fourth player to be run out in the innings, this time Pandey with the direct hit.
England’s last two wickets also fell quickly with Hazell bowled for four, before Shrubsole was caught by the substitute fielder for 11, England all out for 246 with India winning by 35 runs.
Tickets are available for all games in Derby, with prices starting from just £10 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online via icc-cricket.com/tickets.
For more information about ICC Women’s World Cup, please call 01332 388 101 or email [email protected].