Goswami and Sultana bowl India to victory
India women 199 for 5 (Roy 69*, Raj 62) beat England women 164 (Rainford-Brent 64, Goswami 3-16, Sultana 3-26) by 35 runs
Half-centuries by Priyanka Roy and Mithali Raj rescued India from a top-order wobble and helped them post 199 - a total didn't look defendable till England made a meal of the chase in the first ODI in Bangalore. Jhulan Goswami and Gouher Sultana took three wickets apiece as the hosts won by 35 runs. Play began after the teams observed a moment's silence for the death of Audrey Collins, the former England batsman and famed administrator, at the age of 94.
At the end of 27 overs England needed another 100 to win and hand six wickets in hand. They had lost their well-set batsman Ebony Rainford-Brent, who played an attacking innings and negotiated the spinners with ease. Along with her cautious partner Lydia Greenway, Rainford-Brent repeatedly swept the spinners - especially left-arm spinner Preeti Dimri. She finally fell while attempting the same shot against the other left-arm spinner Sultana, who kept a tight line and bowled full even as the other bowlers were leaking runs. Rainford-Brent's dismissal slowed England down but her 83-ball 64 ensured they were well ahead of the required run-rate.
Greenway and Caroline Atkins steadily accumulated the runs, mostly through singles, and it looked like England would make it home with overs to spare. However the second turning point of the innings was Goswami's return in the 40th over. She changed ends, coming to the Pavilion side, and struck Atkins plumb in front off her first ball. New batsman Jenny Gunn gave a catch to Priyanka Roy off the third ball and England fell to 145 for 6. Greenway's presence meant the visitors still had a chance but they lost that in the 43rd over when she was run-out after a terrible mix-up with Nicky Shaw. England had lost their last six wickets for 19 runs.
They did better bowling and fielding but were frustrated by Raj and Roy's stand which was only broken when Raj played a tired-looking shot off Charlotte Edwards and lofted a catch to Greenway. Fast bowler Katherine Brunt had got the first breakthrough in the fifth over when she had Anagha Deshpande caught at slip for 16. Raj and Thirush Kamini added 41 for the second wicket before England struck in quick succession, effecting two run-outs, to leave India four down by the 20th over.
Raj and Roy rebuilt the innings during their 100-run partnership which lasted 25.3 overs. Raj hit only two fours in her knock of 62 off 116 balls, while Roy was more aggressive, hitting six fours in her unbeaten 69. Roy and Amita Sharma added a quick 36 off the last five overs.
The second ODI will be played on February 21 in Bangalore before the teams move on Visakhapatnam.