In a high scoring game at the Brabourne Stadium, England beat India by 32 runs to open their account in the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup. After the England skipper Charlotte Edwards set up the match with a century, Harmanpreet Kaur took the fight to the opposition with a determined ton as well. Although she was facing an uphill task, the Indian vice-captain rallied on even as the England bowlers maintained a tight grip on the Indian innings and struck at regular intervals.
Chasing 273, India were left reeling at 29 for three by Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole. Spearheading the England bowling attack, Brunt claimed the key wickets of M Thirush Kamini and captain Mithali Raj, while Shrubsole followed up with the wicket of Poonam Raut to send India on the back foot.
With the top three back in the hut, Kaur and Karuna Jain revived the Indian innings. With the wicketkeeper for company, Kaur set about the task of stabilising the innings and steering her team towards the steep target. Cheered by the vociferous crowd, the two kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and twos to keep India in the game. The duo added 106 for the fourth wicket, until Jain was caught by Laura Marsh for 56.
With 138 runs still required from 98 balls, Jhulan Goswami joined Kaur. She survived a couple of chances early in her innings as the English fielders, who have otherwise been quick on their feet, failed to take a couple of catches. But, it wasn’t too long before a brilliant catch at mid-off by Laura Marsh halted Goswami’s stay at the crease.
Kaur however continued to impress as she strove to take India closer to the target. The batter hit the first six of the day when she hit Danielle Wyatt over the bowlers head and followed it up with another big hit over the fence in the bowler’s next over. She continued to find the gaps and clear the fielders as she brought up her first century in ODIs, off 102 balls.
But with 48 runs required, Brunt removed Reema Malhotra and Amita Sharma off consecutive deliveries, while Wyatt sent back N Niranjana to put the match firmly in England’s favour. However, Kaur remained unbeaten on 107 as India lost the game.
Earlier, put in to bat, Edwards opening the innings for England and put the defending champions in a commanding position with a well-compiled century. In the process, Edwards who was 53 short of becoming the highest women’s ODI run-scorer before the match, overtook Australia’s Belinda Clark’s record with a single off Reema Malhotra at mid-wicket. She also became the fourth women to score 1000 runs in World Cup competition.
Although they had lost Danielle Wyatt early in the innings, Edwards was involved in substantial partnerships with Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway that helped England set a competitive target for India.
With less than 15 overs left, Katherine Brunt was promoted up the order and added a quick fire 21 off 16 balls, before walking back to the pavilion. And 26 runs later, Edwards was run out for 109 and was followed back by Jenny Gunn and Heather Knight. Laura Marsh, who then joined Arran Brindle, departed in the penultimate over, after contributing an 11-ball 13 while Brindle. The English women collected 74 runs in the last ten overs for the loss of five wickets. With an unbeaten 37-run knock, Brindle helped take England to 272.
Brief Scores: England 272/8 in 50 overs (C Edwards 109, A Brindle 37*, J Goswami 2/50) beat India 240/9 in 50 overs (H Kaur 107*, K Jain 56, K Brunt 4/29) by 32 runs
Player of the Match: Charlotte Edwards for her match-winning ton