England Women spoiled Mithali Raj’s joy of becoming only the second cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to complete 22 years in ODI cricket, by romping to an eight-wicket win in the first ODI against India here on Sunday.
Mithali’s 72, that took India Women to 201/8 in 50 overs, went in vain as home batters Tammy Beaumont (87 off 87) and Natalie Sciver (74 off 74) took England to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Both Tammy and Natalie added 117 for the third wicket against an insipid Indian bowling attack. While opener Tammy hammered 12 fours and a six, Natalie hit 10 fours and one six as Indians struggled to make breakthroughs after an early wicket within the first five overs.
Earlier, the 38-year-old senior Indian pro’s 108-ball knock had helped save India the blushes.
After England had won the toss and elected to bowl, Indian women lost dashing openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana early. India were 27 for two in the 10th over. Mithali stitched a 56-run partnership with Punam Raut (32 off 61 balls) for the third wicket and a 65-run partnership with Deepti Sharma (30 off 46 balls) for the fifth wicket.
Harmanpreet Kaur could make only one.
For England women, pacers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole took two wickets each while left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone was the most successful bowler with three wickets for 40 runs.
Brief scores: Indian women 201/8 in 50 overs (M Raj 72, P Raut 32, D Sharma 30, S Ecclestone 3/40, A Shrubsole 2/33, K Brunt 2/35) lost to England Women 202/2 in 34.5 overs (T Beaumont 87 not out, N Sciver 74) by eight wickets