Ekta Bisht helps India women take early lead in England ODIs

Mumbai [India]: Spinner Ekta Bisht spun a web around the reigning World Cup champions England to help India women win the opening one-day international by 66 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

“We would have done well if we had more experience in the batting department. The bowlers were exceptional in the second half of the match and Ekta Bisht was quite remarkable. Winning the first match orders us well for the series,” captain Mithali Raj said.

India got off to a good start after being asked to bat. Openers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues put on 69 runs for the first wicket stand before the southpaw was dismissed by medium pacer Georgia Elwiss for 24.

Raj came out to share the crease with Rodrigues, who missed out on her half-century as she was sent back on 48. The Indian captain played a crucial knock and built on a 59-run stand with wicketkeeper-batter Taniya Bhatia for the sixth wicket before departing for 44.

At a point it seemed India would not be able to reach the 200-mark but Bhatia’s 41-ball 25 and veteran Jhulan Goswami’s 30 off 37 helped the hosts to post 202.

The touring side faced early dent as they lost Amy Jones, Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor in quick succession, leaving England at 38 for the loss of three wickets.

England captain Heather Knight and batter Natalie Sciver in the middle provided some momentum as the duo stitched a 73-run partnership. However, Bisht’s swift backthrow off her own delivery to run out Sciver for 44 triggered the collapse of England as the hosts folded for 136 in 41 overs.

Knight, who remained unbeaten on 39, post-match said, “Losing wickets at regular intervals didn’t help the team and it derailed out chase. We hope to rectify the errors of this game and hope to bounce back in the game. The pitch became reasonably slower in the game but as the batters spent time in the middle, it got easier.”

Bisht, the player of the match, said, “Flight has been my friend in my career and it came to my help in today’s match. The pitch was helping me as well and I took full assistance from it.”

Brief score: India- 202 in 49.4 Overs (Rodrigues 48, Ecclestone 2/27) defeated England 136 in 41 overs (Sciver 44, Bisht 4/25)


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