Half century by Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Yastika Bhatia propels Indian W to 3 wicket win against England W

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Opener Smriti Mandhana, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia struck half a century as India Women handed England Women a seven-wicket defeat in the first ODI of the series here on Sunday.

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The Indian bowlers chose to take advantage of the terms of limiting England to a modest 227/7 in their allotted 50 overs at the County Ground, here.

The batters then made hay when opener Mandhana scored the highest with 91, Harmanpreet remained unbeaten at 74, while Yastika Bhatia hit a 47-ball 50 when India Women reached 232/3 in 44.2 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three game series.

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Mandhana set the podium for the win with a great knock, despite the early loss of her partner Shafali Verma (1). The score was three runs when Shafali couldn’t control a rousing flick and was caught by Charlie Dean mid-wicket from Kate Cross.

Mandhana found a good partner in Yastika as they both collected 96 runs for the second wicket. Yastika was next to go as she was bowled by Dean as she came down to hoist the off-spinner, but was thrown through the fence for missing the ball altogether. Yastika scored 50 from 47 balls and hit eight fours and a six.

Mandhana continued to build up the innings in the company of skipper Harmanpreet, as she missed the three-digit mark by nine runs. Mandhana and Harmanpreet propelled India to victory as they increased 99 runs for the third wicket while endlessly harassing the English bowlers. Mandhana was out with the score at 198 in the 37th over when she was caught by Davidson Richards at Cross.

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Harmanpreet went unbeaten at 74 as she led India past goal in the company of Harleen Deol (6 not out on 20 balls).

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For England, Kate Cross claimed 2/43 of her 10 overs.

It was the Indian bowlers who organized the match for India, as they limited the English women to a modest total.

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Meghana Singh and Jhulan Goswami started the carnage for India when they reduced the hosts to 21/2 in the ninth over, sending Emma Lamb (12) and Tammy Beaumont (7) back. England recovered a bit from that, but regularly lost wickets.

Alice Davidson-Richards scored the highest score for England with an unbeaten 50, while Danni Wyatt contributed 43. Sophie Ecclestone went down 31 runs in the order as England recovered and crossed the 200-run mark.

For India, spinner Deepti Sharma was the most successful bowler with 2-33 from her 10 overs, as six of the seven Indian bowlers in action claimed at least one wicket each.