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ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022: India lose to defending champions England by four wickets

Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami became the first bowler in women’s ODI cricket to reach 250 wickets.

The Indian women’s cricket team lost to England by four wickets at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Wednesday.

Put in to bat first on the dry Bay Oval pitch, India were bundled out for 134 in 36.2 overs before English batters chased down the target in 31.2 overs.

With two wins and two losses from the four matches, India are third on the points table with a net run-rate of 0.632. Defending champions England, meanwhile, brought their poor World Cup campaign back on track with Wednesday’s victory and are placed sixth on the table.

India got off to a poor start and were reeling at 34/3 after the powerplay. Opener Yastika Bhatia (8), captain Mithali Raj (0), and Deepti Sharma (1) were sent back cheaply with Anya Shrubsole inflicting the early damage for the defending champions.

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, centurions from India’s last match against West Indies, tried to rebuild the Indian innings but were broken after a brief 33-run partnership.

With both batters back, the middle-order crumbled and India were reduced to a paltry 71/6 in 22 overs.

India’s wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh ensured India reached the three-figure mark and stitched a crucial 37-run partnership with Jhulan Goswami for the eighth wicket. But with Ghosh back in the hut after a run out, the England bowlers quickly finished off India for their lowest total in 50-over World Cups since 2009. Charlie Dean picked up a career-best 4/23 in 8.2 overs.

In reply, Indian pacer Meghna Singh removed English opener Danielle Wyatt (1) early and Jhulan Goswami sent Tammy Beaumont (1) back to the pavilion to give India some hope.

Jhulan Goswami, who became the highest wicket-taker in Women’s World Cup history in the last match against West Indies, became the first woman to take 250 ODI wickets with Tammy Beaumont’s scalp.

However, Nat Sciver with a quickfire 45 off 46 balls, which included eight fours, stitched together a 65-run partnership with captain Heather Knight to help the England cricket team regain the upper hand.

After Sciver departed, Knight built up another handy stand with Amy Jones, before Harmanpreet Kaur produced one of the catches of the tournament to dismiss Jones.

Despite some late wickets from Indian bowlers, Heather Knight, who played an anchored innings with an unbeaten 53-run knock, saw England through with more than 18 overs to spare.

Meghna Singh was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three wickets.

India will play table-toppers Australia next on Saturday.

India vs England, Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, brief scores: India 134/10 (Smriti Mandhana 35, Richa Ghosh 33; Charlie Dean 4/23) lose to England 136/6 (Heather Knight 53*, Nat Sciver 45; Meghna Singh 3/26) by four wickets.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala

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