A commanding batting display from the home side led by unbeaten half-centuries from Tammy Beaumont (87) and Natalie Sciver (74) helped England register a comprehensive eight-wicket win against India at the County Ground in Bristol.
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With rain expected to play a part and the overcast conditions on offer, Heather Knight had no hesitation in opting to field first after winning the toss.
The Indian team handed Shafali Verma her maiden ODI cap after her heroics in the one-off Test match against the same opposition last week, making her the youngest Indian player to feature in all three formats of the game.
The 17-year-old, however, failed to create any impact as she was undone by a rising delivery from Katherine Brunt for 15. One of the tactics deployed by the England pacers all through the innings was the appropriate use of the bouncers.
In Verma’s short stay at the wicket, England opening bowlers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole consistently bowled a tight length and ensured she was not able to get on to her front foot. Her wicket early in the innings dented the scoring rate, and the Indian team was reeling at 84 for the loss of four wickets.
Despite wickets tumbling in the middle, Mithali Raj, along with Deepti Sharma, consolidated the innings and stitched a 65-run stand for the fifth wicket. The skipper anchored the innings with a 108-ball 72 to propel the Indian team to 201 runs for the loss of eight wickets.
Chasing a modest total of 202-runs, England was jolted early with Laura Winfield-Hill's dismissal for 16 in the fifth over by veteran Jhulan Goswami. However, Tammy Beaumont stroke-filled 87* studded with 12 boundaries and one six laid a solid foundation for the home team.
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En route to her match defining innings, she forged an unbeaten 119-run stand with Sciver for the third wicket to guide the team to an emphatic eight-wicket win. With a useful contribution of 74* from Sciver, England cruised to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
One of the critical areas the visiting side can improve heading into the second encounter is the number of dot deliveries. The Indian team accounted for 181 dot balls in their quota of 50 overs, adding enormous pressure on themselves due to a low scoring rate.