Top order brilliance get India to winning start in Women’s World Cup

Indian captain Mithali Raj created a world record today (June 24) against England at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.Fran Wilson’s 81 and 46 from Knight kept England in contention but they fell short in the end, bowled out for 246. Smriti Mandhana was the top scorer with 90 while her opening partner Punam Raut made 86.India skipper Raj said: ‘Posting 280, our highest score against England, and winning against the hosts and having just four or five of our players having played in the World Cup before, I feel the team has done really well.That left Knight to take hope from the way Pakistan’s men came back from losing their opening group match – also against India – to win the Champions Trophy recently but she knows there must be an improvement.On an overcast morning, England looked to have gained an advantage by bowling first, but Mandhana and Raut, who was dropped three times, seized the initiative.She joined Knight to rebuild after the England top order failed – among them Sarah Taylor, returning to an global cricket after a year away with an anxiety-related issue, who made 22. Three overs later, Danielle Wyatt was caught and bowled by Sharma as England lost half their side. Interestingly she was unbeaten in 5 among the 7 innings.England captain Heather Knight: “I think it was a brilliant match, credit to India I think they outplayed us and they bowled very well and obviously took the game away from us with the bat”.Heather Knight won the toss and chose to field first, but the decision backfired as India piled on the runs at will, scoring 281 for the loss of three wickets.”I enjoyed batting with Poonam Raut a lot. I realised the wicket didn’t assist the bowlers but the spinners bowled in the right areas”, Mithali said after the match.They followed this up by stifling England at the start of their response as the home team struggled to get meaningful partnerships together.CAPTAIN Heather Knight knows her side can not afford to make another poor start against Pakistan on Tuesday after England lost their opening match in the group stages of the Women’s World Cup.The White Ferns then took charge as captain Suzie Bates (106 not out) and Amy Satterthwaite (78 not out) shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 170 as eight Sri Lanka bowlers failed to separate them.Sri Lanka posted 188/9 in their allotted 50 overs with Chamari Atapattu (53) scoring handsomely for the cause.