Winning the toss and opting to field first was the immediate choice for either captain owing to overnight rain. Harmanpreet Kaur went with that choice and the decision paid dividends immediately in Gqeberha on Saturday.
Bowling the first over, Renuka Singh kept the line and length tight, managing an outside edge off Danni Wyatt's (0) bat from her third delivery. Wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh completed a stunning one-handed catch with the ball getting stuck in her glove's webbing.
Alice Capsey, who had scored a fiery 22-ball 51 against Ireland in the last match, was Renuka's next victim, getting her wickets castled for 3.
England batters, looking to take on the Indian bowlers, survived multiple instances of getting out, thanks to the ball missing the stumps by inches.
Harmanpreet decided to continue Renuka for her third over hoping to get another wicket and she did not disappoint. Sophia Dunkley (10) tried going for an inside-out shot, exposing the stumps, but missed the ball altogether getting her leg stump uprooted in the process.
Deepti Sharma was brought into the attack to bowl the last over of the powerplay and she almost gave England batters another heart attack, this time reviewing a not out decision off captain Heather Knight only for the decision to be upheld.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad started poorly, bowling short as she did against West Indies, conceding two boundaries in her first over and 12 runs overall.
Nat Sciver-Brunt forged a steady partnership with Knight, with the pair scoring 43 runs between them with the scorecard reading 72-3 after 10 overs.