Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma help India start with win against England

The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 is slated to start tomorrow and India will take on England in their first match.Mithali Raj and Co reached the finals of the 2005 Women’s World Cup beating South Africa, England, West Indies and New Zealand en route, but had to be content with finishing second after Australia beat them by 98 runs in the final.With things slowing down in the middle overs, India’s wise use of batting powerplay put Anya Shrubsole at the receiving end of Mandhana’s assault, who kicked off with a six and wrapped up the over with back to back hits to the fence to fetch 20 in all.While the seasoned Sarah Taylor has returned after an extended break from the game, England have quite a few other players such as in-form captain Heather Knight, Katherine Brunt – one of the most unsafe pacers at the moment – and Nat Sciver who can make a difference. The English bowlers will remember her eight boundaries and two towering sixes on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.Asked by a reporter who her favourite men’s cricketer was out of the India and Pakistan teams at a pre-World Cup dinner in London on Thursday, the experienced batsman replied: “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer?”Mithali Raj smashed a brilliant 71 off 84 balls to guide team India 281 in 50 overs for the loss of 3 wickets.She and Raut added 78 runs for the second wicket before the opener was caught by Danni Wyatt for 86 off Hazell, with Nelson striking on 222.Mithali again called for a referral in the 34th over for a leg-before against Fran Wilson off Harmanpreet Kaur but this time DRS denied her and India of any success.A grand opening dinner in one of Whitehall’s most opulent dining rooms was an apt curtain-raiser to what will be the biggest World Cup staged in women’s cricket. Meanwhile, Deepti struck off her very first ball of the game soon after but it took women cricket’s first-ever DRS use to send the attacking Natalie Sciver back on her way. In India’s case and with the new format of playing every team in the league stage, even a semifinal run will be big. She is one of the best players in the world.For England, Knight scalped two wickets for 41 runs. While chasing England fell short by 35 runs as they were bowled out for 246.