Disciplined India win by 18 runs
India 231 for 6 in 50 overs (Jain 77, Sharma 61, Guha 2-49) beat England 213 in 48 overs (Atkins 54, Edwards 33, Goswami 2-25) by 18 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball-details
A double strike by Jhulan Goswami in the 46th over sealed India's victory over England in the first match of the Quadrangular in Chennai. Good bowling overall by the Indians, who were helped along with some poor shotmaking by the English, ensured that India got home by 18 runs with two overs to spare.
Towards the end there was indeed some anxiety for India as Laura Marsh hit out, chasing at almost six an over. But they kept their cool and ran out the last batsman in the 48th over.
Earlier, half-centuries by Jaya Sharma and Karuna Jain had got India to a fairly safe score of 231. Sharma reached her half-century in 84 balls cutting and pulling the England bowlers, Holly Colvin and Beth Morgan in particular, before being run out for 61. Jain and Mithali Raj then added 52 more before Jain was stumped off a wide ball. Her 77 comprised some attractive shots with very neat footwork, especially when facing up to spinners Colvin and Laura Newton. Raj and Hemlata Kala rotated the strike and pushed towards the 200-run mark. But then, in going for quick runs India lost three wickets for 11 runs and managed only 22 in the last five overs. But the Indian bowlers restricted the run-scoring and took wickets at regular intervals to ensure that the runs on the board were enough.
England's chase began slowly and they scored only 17 in the first five overs. Goswami went for five runs in her first over but Rumeli Dhar choked up the runs conceding only 23 for 1 in her first spell of seven overs. She bowled Newton for 21 in the ninth over of the game when England were at 33. Sarah Taylor, who had a good day behind the stumps - involved in a run out and effecting two stumpings - did reasonably well with the bat adding 49 with Caroline Atkins before she was stumped off Preeti Dimri. At the end of 25 overs England were at 97 which was much the same position that India had been in at that point in their innings. The difference was that England had already lost two wickets while the Indian openers were on their way to a 121-run partnership.
Charlotte Edwards and Atkins consolidated the England innings adding 35 together. Atkins hit a four to reach her half-century in 99 balls but was run out the next ball by a throw to the keeper from Raj at short midwicket. England were at 117 for 3 and had 20 more overs to chase 114 runs. They looked at ease, especially Edwards who executed the sweep shot, a usually awkward stroke to watch, with smooth efficiency.
The breakthrough for India came when Amita Sharma replaced Jhulan Goswami in the 34th over. She had Jenny Gunn caught off her second over of the spell as Gunn tried to clear the field for a six but instead holed out to Raj at long-on. In the next over, Edwards, first swept Nooshin Al Khadeer [with nine more to go keep watching this space as we count down to Khadeer's 100 wickets] to the midwicket boundary and then to fine leg. The second attempt was unsuccessful and she was caught by Dhar for 33.
Sharma struck again and had Lydia Greenway top-edge a flick to cover where Raj was standing to collect the ball as it landed straight into her hands. England had three wickets left and 42 runs to get when Goswami came to bowl her second spell. The first ball was a yorker that Marsh just managed to put a bat to. She took a single off the next ball and left Claire Taylor to face up to a super-charged Goswami. Taylor, who had kept the run-rate going with 24 off 25 balls, nicked this ball to the keeper and the England tail were left to get the remaining 41 runs. Goswami bowled the fourth ball which pitched on off and moved in to trap Guha leg before for a duck.
With one wicket remaining and 37 runs to get in four overs England looked more or less defeated. Marsh hit two consecutive fours off Dhar in the 48th over but a run-out of the No.11 batsman Colvin ended it all. Possessing a defendable target, India's bowlers had put pressure on England, who ultimately were not up to the task.