Edwards disappointed by poor batting
A day before the first match, England captain Charlotte Edwards had said her players were desperate to get their first series win in India but that aim just got a little harder after a 35-run loss in Bangalore. England had kept India to 199, a total that captain Jhulan Goswami agreed was below-par for the slow pitch, but gave away the advantage with some poor batting.
England needed 100 runs in 27 overs with six wickets in hand, which they contrived to lose for 19 runs. Edwards said she was bitterly disappointed with the batting display and hoped the side would bounce back for the second game on Sunday. "We were in a very good position and we let that slip so it was a very disappointing day for us," Edwards said. "We've got four more games so hopefully we'll come back stronger." Ebony Rainford-Brent top scored for them with 64 and, though England stumbled after she fell in the 26th over, it was Lydia Greenway's run-out in the 43rd that ended their hopes of taking a series lead.
"We lost Ebony on 60-odd and then kept losing wickets constantly," Edwards said. "We didn't get any partnerships going. The bottom order didn't provide us with any runs and there was the crucial run-out of Lydia Greenway which was a bit of a disaster."
Rainford-Brent said the team had discussed the loss immediately after the match and felt all the batsmen had to take responsibility. "The pitch was quite interesting. It took a while for us to settle in and there were great bowlers like Goswami. But once you got in, it became easy and there were few overs where I managed to pick up some boundaries. I should have really gone on. We lost six wickets for not much and that's not something we expect from a good team like ours. There was some good bowling but we should have been able to stand up to it."
Both Edwards and Rainford-Brent, as well as Goswami, praised the bowling of left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana who took 3 for 26 in her 10 overs. "Gouher bowled really well, after a long time I saw someone turning the ball," Goswami said. "She managed to tie down one end when England were scoring at four, four and a half."
However it was Goswami who turned the game India's way by picking up two wickets in the first over of her second spell. She trapped Caroline Atkins leg before off the first ball and had Jenny Gunn caught off the third. "Greenway and Atkins' partnership worried me and I felt there was no point trying to bowl defensively and save boundaries. So I changed ends to look for wickets."
India, who were disappointing in the two World Cups last year, will hope to take this winning momentum into the rest of the ODI series and the three Twenty20s, ahead of the World Twenty20 in West Indies in May.
Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo