A commanding 155-run victory over West Indies over the weekend but the Indian women's cricket team's 2022 ICC ODI World Cup campaign has been dealt a big blow by England who bowled them out for 134 and then won the match by 4 wickets, for their first victory of the tournament.
England, the defending champions, were placed second last in the standings coming into this match, having lost all three of their outings so far but a career-best 4/23 from Charlie Dean with a near-perfect outing in the field saw India bowled out for 134 with Smriti Mandhana top-scoring with 35.
Captain Heather Knight led the way during the chase with an unbeaten 53 as England have now moved to the fifth spot in the standings table.
The toss this morning was won by England skipper Heather Knight who put an unchanged India into bat first.
The opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia scored 18 before Anya Shrubsole opened her account in the fourth over. Bhatia, who has been picked ahead of Shafali Verma, out on 8. Skipper Mithali Raj was the next player in and her below par run of form in the tournament continued as she got out for another single digit score (1) after facing just five deliveries. India were down to 25/2 in 5.3 overs and England managed to pick another big wicket two overs later, with Deepti Sharma getting run out on a duck.
Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, the two centurions from the previous match then stabilised the Indian innings and stitched together a 33-run stand.
Charlie Dean's entry in the 17th over changed the situation as the off-spinner got rid of Harmanpreet and Sneh Rana in a double-wicket maiden over. While Harmanpreet tried playing for the turn from a flighted delivery outside off-stump, the ball held its line and took an outer edge to keeper Amy Jones. Rana's promotion backfired as she went for an expansive drive, only to nick the ball behind to Jones.
Mandhana tried to hold one end for India but she missed a sweep off left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone and was trapped lbw in front of off-stump.
Dean soon picked up her third wicket as Pooja Vastrakar missed the sweep completely and was trapped plumb lbw after surviving a same call before in the over.
Richa Ghosh hit delightful boundaries on the front foot and back foot against Dean, Ecclestone and Cross. She got support from Jhulan Goswami, who made good use of the long handle in hammering Dean and Cross for boundaries.
Just as the 37-run partnership looked set to go big, Ghosh was run-out by Nat Sciver's direct hit from mid-wicket despite making a good dive as replays showed her bat was centimetres above in air when the bails were disturbed.
Goswami sliced straight to backward point off Cross and Dean ended India's misery by clean bowling Meghna Singh to take four wickets.
England's chase didn't get off to the best start with Meghna Singh and Jhulan Goswami striking in quick succession as they lost openers Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont in the first three overs.
Wyatt pushed hard but found Sneh Rana diving full-length to her right at slip while Beaumont was trapped lbw in pad first on forward defence, giving Goswami her 250th wicket in ODIs.
Knight and her deputy Nat Sciver joined forces to get England's innings back on track. While Knight got off the mark with a drive through cover point off Meghna, Sciver hammered Goswami for two boundaries and was even lucky in bails not falling off despite the ball hitting the stumps.
Sciver then welcomed Rajeshwari Gayakwad by taking nine runs off her first over, including two boundaries coming via sweep. The duo indulged in risk-free play and got boundaries with precision to keep England on course of chasing the target.
The 65-run partnership for the third wicket ended as Sciver was foxed by a short ball from Pooja Vastrakar and leading edge on pull flew to mid-on. Knight, sedate till then, began to dispatch anything full to the boundary rope with drive, steer and reverse-sweep through the off-side.
Amy Jones hit a delightful six down the ground off Gayakwad but two balls later, the right-hander tried to repeat the loft but was caught by a backtracking Harmanpreet, who timed her jump to perfection. After timing an extra cover for four off Meghna, Knight brought her 23rd ODI fifty in 66 balls.
She was ably supported by Sophia Dunkley, who fetched three boundaries in her first 14 balls with a fierce upper-cut over point being the standout shot. Dunkley's cameo ended as she nicked behind to keeper Richa Ghosh off Meghna for a low, dipping catch.
One brought two for India as Meghna bounced out Katherine Brunt with Ghosh taking the catch off top-edge. Sophie Ecclestone finished off the chase with a pulled four through deep mid-wicket off Meghna, giving England their first two points in the tournament.