After losing the three-match T20Is, India women's cricket team on Sunday hit back to win the first ODI match against England Women at County Ground, Hove. After restricting the hosts to 227/7, Harmanpreet Kaur & Co. chased down the target in 44.2 overs for a seven-wicket win. India now lead the series 1-0.
And the architect of the win was Smriti Mandhana, who hit a brilliant 91 off 99. The 26-year-old was involved in a crucial 96-run stand with Yastika Bhatia (50 off 47) after the fall of fellow opener Shafali Verma (1 off 6) in the second over.
Mandhana then joined hands with skipper Kaur to all but seal the win for India. They put together 99 runs for the third wicket. Kaur hit the winning runs -- a six -- in the 45th over. She remained unbeaten on 74 off 94 balls.
The second match is scheduled for Wednesday (September 21) at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury.
Earlier, Kaur won the toss and opted to bowl first. Besides the retiring Jhulan Goswami, India also named Harleen Deol, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Meghna Singh in the playing XI.
"It's an important day for us. The first match and we want to set the tone," said Kaur said at the toss. The match witnessed the return of veteran Jhulan Goswami. The retiring pacer last played for India in the World Cup, vs Bangladesh on March 22, 2022.
Goswami was already the leading wicket-taker in Women's ODI. Now, the India star has 253 scalps in 202 matches.
England, meanwhile, handed a debut to Alice 18-year-old Alice Capsey. Amy Jones is leading England in the series in the absence of Heather Knight and Nat Sciver.
"The team's looked a bit different, a lot of youngsters around which has brought a huge amount of energy and that helps at the end of the summer," Jones said.
Once again leading the Indian attack, Goswami produced a tidy spell of 1/20. Deepti Sharma got a brace for 33 runs, while Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sneh Rana and Harleen Deol took one each.
Davidson Richards top scored for England Women with an unbeaten 50 off 61, while Danielle Wyatt contributed with 43 off 50.
England: Emma Lamb, Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey, Danielle Wyatt, Amy Jones (c & wk), Alice Davidson Richards, Sophie Ecclestone, Charlotte Dean, Kate Cross, Issy Wong.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Meghna Singh.
The three-match series is part of the ongoing ICC Women's ODI Championship 2022-25.