Opener Smriti Mandhana conjured up a crucial 86-run knock as Indian women pulled off a thrilling one-wicket win over England women in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series, in Nagpur on Friday.
Mandhana cracked five fours and four sixes in her strokeful inning to anchor India’s run chase after England set the hosts a modest 208-run for a 1 -0 lead at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha.
Mandhana starred in crucial partnerships with Harmanpreet Kaur (21) and Deepti Sharma (24) as India overhauled the target with five balls to spare.
Poonam Yadav (4/30) and Ekta Bisht (3/49) shared seven wickets between them, while DB Sharma struck twice as England failed to weave partnerships and were bowled out for 207 in 49.3 overs.
After opening pair of Danielle Wyatt (27) and Tammy Beaumont (37) shared a 71-run stand, FC Wilson scored 45 to help them cross the 200-mark.
Chasing the total, Devika Vaidya (15) and Mandhana (86) gave India a good start but Danielle Hazell dismissed Devika and skipper Mithali Raj in her successive overs to reduce India to 41-2 in 9 overs.
Harmanpreet Kaur (21) then gave company to Mandhana for some time before Sophie Ecclestone dismissed the former. Deepti Sharma (24) then added 74 runs with Mandhana but Georgia Elwiss removed both the batswomen in consecutive overs to leave India at 171-5 in the 38th over.
Ecclestone then scalped Sushma verma (3), Veda Krishnamurthy (8), Jhulan Goswami (2) cheaply to raise hopes of a turn around. But Bisht contributed a useful run-a-ball 12 to take India home.
Ecclestone was the pick of the English bowler with four wickets, while Elwiss and Hazell snapped two each.
India had won 2-1 against South African women in a three-match ODI series last February. However, the hosts suffered a humiliating 0-3 whitewash against Australian women last month.