England snap losing streak, beat India by 4 wickets

Tauranga, Mar 16 (UNI): England fought tooth and nail to keep their title defence alive, defeating India by four wickets in a round-robin match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval here on Wednesday.

To avoid an early exit from the tournament, England, which had suffered three consecutive defeats, turned around things after asking India to bat first. Any Shrubsole, who took 6/46 in the 2017 World Cup final, started the dream run for England in the 2022 edition match, clean bowling Yastika Bhatia (8) through bat and pad to bring up 100 ODI wickets before claiming the big scalp of Mithali Raj for just one.


Sophia Dunkley claimed a tricky catch to remove the Indian skipper and a direct-hit run out from Kate Cross dismissed Deepti Sharma (0), hinting that England’s fielding malaise may be behind the side chasing their first victory in the tournament.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone then turned the screws by trapping Mandhana in front for 35. Charlie Dean (4/23) potentially displayed tournament-turning bowling performance, which engulfed Harmanpreet Kaur (14), Sneh Rana (0) and Pooja Vastrakar (6).

A late 37-run partnership between Richa Ghosh (33) and Jhulan Goswami (20) was the only highlight of the Indian innings as the side folded for 134 inside 37 overs. In reply, England lost openers Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont cheaply in quick succession.

Rana took a stunning catch, diving full stretch to her right at slip to remove Wyatt (1). Goswami then dismissed Beaumont (1) lbw but not before a review, reducing England to 4/2 after three overs. With the dismissal of Beaumont, Goswami became the first woman to complete 250 ODI wickets.

Natalie Sciver (45) and Heather Knight got into rebuilding, adding 65 runs together for the third wicket. Meghna Singh frustrated England’s easy run chase as she removed Dunkley (17) and Katherine Brunt (0) in the space of just two balls.

Knight (53 not out), who was struggling with a lean phase, registered her half-century before taking England over the line inside 32 overs. Brief scores: India 134/10 in 36.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 35; Charlie Dean 4/23, Anya Shrubsole 2/20) lost to England 136/6 in 31.2 overs (Heather Knight 53 not out, Natalie Sciver 45; Meghna Singh 3/26) by 4 wickets.

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