Harmanpreet Kaur's brilliant unbeaten century went in vain as India suffered
a 32-run defeat against defending champions England in their group A match of
the ICC Women's World Cup here today.
Kaur blasted 107 runs in 109 balls, laced with eight fours and two sixes, to
become the second cricketer from India to slam a ton in the World Cup.
But the 23-year-old from Punjab didn't get much support at the other end as
India made 240 for nine in reply to England's 272 in their stipulated 50 overs.
Fast bowler Katherine Helen Brunt was the top wicket-taker for England as she
returned with a four-wicket haul in nine overs, while spinner Danielle Wyatt
chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Chasing a target of 273, India had a dismal start as they lost their top three
batters -- last match centurion Thirushkamini Murugesan, Punam Raut and skipper
Mithali Raj -- in a span of 34 minutes and by the eighth over.
They managed to recover from 29 for 3 as vice-captain Kaur and wicket-keeper
batter Karuna Jain steadied the innings with a partnership of 106 for the fourth
wicket in 157 balls.
Jain scored 56 in 92 balls and her knock was laced with five fours, though she
couldn't capitalise on the 'life' she got, when the English skipper dropped her
The bowler Arran Brindle struck three balls later in the same over to dismiss
Jain when Laura Marsh took her catch at backward point.
Former India skipper Jhulan Goswami, who came into bat after Jain departed, also
got a reprieve when Jennifer Gunn dropped her on two at extra cover off Anya
Goswami made a quick fire 19 in 20 balls, with three fours before Heather Knight
took a brilliant flying catch at mid-off to send her back.
Kaur then forged a 53-run stand with Reema Malhotra, but it was all over for the
hosts when they lost three wickets -- Malhotra, Amita Sharma and Niranjana
Nagrajan -- in three consequtive balls at the team score of 225 runs.
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