Raj Masterminds Victory For India In Opening ODI
India Women 230-5 (Raj 94no, Raut 60, Kaur 50) beat
England Women 229 (Brindle 58) by 5 wickets
First One-Day International, Lord's
Mithali Raj played a captain's innings to lead India Women to an impressive five-wicket win over England Women in the opening One-Day International at Lord's.
Raj was unbeaten on 94 as India reached a target of 230 with three balls remaining in a tight finish after England had earlier been bowled out for 229.
It was India's first ODI victory over England in England since 1999, ending a run of 12 defeats and two no results.
Raj was well supported by Punam Raut (60) and Harmanpreet Kaur (50) and although they lost two wickets in the final over, Raj held her nerve to hit the winning runs.
Arran Brindle earlier top scored with 58 as England made light of a slow start, accelerating as their innings went on.
Archana Das (4-61) and Nagarajan Niranjana (3-28) shared seven wickets for India.
Raj, however, was the heroine of the hour, facing 111 balls and hitting six fours as she anchored the innings and underpinned the run chase, timing her knock perfectly.
Raut made 60 in 105 balls at the top of the order, adding 106 with Raj after Mohnish Meshram (9) was run out early.
After Raut was bowled by Danielle Hazell, Raj put on 89 with Kaur, whose 50 came from 51 balls with four fours and a six as she led the charge by scoring quickly and putting England's bowlers under pressure.
The home side came back, Katherine Brunt taking catches to dismiss Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy and then Jenny Gunn running out Sulakshana Naik for two to set up a nervy finish.
The match may have ended in high drama but it got off to a slow start as the England players carefully built a platform having won the toss.
Charlotte Edwards fell early for one but contributions from Tamsin Beaumont (27) and Sarah Taylor (38) helped them make progress on a slowish pitch.
Brindle then made 58 in 73 balls and the necessary acceleration was applied by Laura Marsh (19 in 21 balls), Wyatt (20 in 16) and Hazell (nine in six).
The second of five matches is in Taunton on 4th July.
© Cricket World 2012
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