With an all-round performance, England thrashes India by eight wickets

By eight wickets, England 202 (Beamont 87*, Sciver 74*) defeated India 201 (Raj 72, Raut 32, Ecclestone 3-40, Shrubsole 2-33, Brunt 2-35).

England thrashes India by eight wickets

England beat India by eight wickets in Bristol, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Sophie Ecclestone, Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt, and Kate Cross combined for eight wickets, with Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver both scoring fifty.

England surpassed the opposition's powerplay score of 27 for 2 in just 5.1 overs, their tally in the first ten overs 61 for the loss of Lauren Winfield-wicket. Hill's Chasing 202 and their 100th ODI win at home, England surpassed the opposition's powerplay score of 27 for 2 in just 5.1 overs, their tally in the first ten overs 61 for the loss of Lauren Winfield-wicket. Hill's The run rate remained a study in contrast to India's throughout the innings: 82 for 1 in 15 overs vs 45 for 2 for India, and 100 in the 19th over to India's in the 32nd. The hosts reached 150 in 29 overs then overhauled the goal in six overs, with the winning run coming off a wide, which is significant given India's lackluster all-round effort.

England's pursuit was led by opener Beaumont, who finished with an undefeated 87. She led the chase with two fifty-plus partnerships totaling 59 and 119 runs for the second and third wickets, respectively, with Heather Knight and Sciver. Sciver was likewise undefeated, with a score of 74.

Beaumont's quick movement down the track, strong drives on the offside, and liberal use of the sweep shot limited India's three-pronged spin onslaught. Brooming a simple off-spinning delivery from Deepti Sharma past a diving Harmanpreet Kaur at deep square, she achieved her fifty, her 13th in the format. Beaumont's gallery of flawless strokes included 12 fours and a six, with the highlight being a stunning inside-out lofted drive for four. Her six-off Kaur in the last ball of the match to tie the game was similarly spectacular.

Sciver joined in the fun when Ekta Bisht produced the second breakthrough, taking the top of Knight's off stump for a 30-ball 18 in her 50th ODI game as England captain. India's six-bowler assault, as well as their field placements and fielding itself, did not appear to be dangerous, and the visitors failed to force mistakes from Beaumont or Sciver on a consistent basis.

Sciver, who started carefully, gradually increased the tempo on her way to her 15th fifty in ODIs and the 2000th run in the format. Sciver brought up the century stand with Beaumont with a beautiful smash over the bowler's head, off Kaur, after being dropped on 12 by Bisht, who pipped Sneh Rana to the second spin-bowling spot in the Indian line-up.

Sciver took Bisht for the most runs - 22 of 14 - among India's bowlers with her run-a-ball performance, which included 10 fours and a six. Sciver's second free shot off Shikha Pandey's back-to-back front-foot no-balls in her fifth over was the pick of her boundaries, helping England get close to 150. In Beaumont's company, her attack guaranteed that rookie Sophia Dunkley had to wait longer for her first ODI innings.

Earlier, in cloudy, windy circumstances, on a new pitch with fair carry and movement that altered little as the match continued, Brunt and Shrubsole bowled five-over opening stints in the powerplay, denying India any chance to make an early impression. After England chose to bowl, the fast-bowling duo drained India of scoring possibilities with an excellent display of discipline and reliance on scrambled-seam variations.

The short ball was also used well. Shafali Verma, the youngest player - male or female - to represent India in all formats of the game at 17 years and 150 days old, was defeated by a missed pull while backing away from a Brunt offcutting bouncer.

No. 3 Punam Ashwin continued the underlying theme of slow scoring that characterized India's innings. Raut, too, failed to instill any sense of urgency in their strategy. Sciver, who completed the game without a wicket, gave up two fours in her second over, both to Raut's front-foot punches. She hit two more fours in her 61-ball 32 before Ecclestone caught Raut off Cross at mid-off, ending her 56-run, 96-ball third-wicket partnership with Mithali Raj.

The fact that England didn't introduce spin until the 21st over, in the form of left-arm spinner Ecclestone (3 for 40) and legspinner Sarah Glenn, and could hold off the second spells of their premier quicks, Brunt and Shrubsole, until well past the 30th over, demonstrated their command of the innings.

The next to go was Kaur. The India vice-back-foot captain's stroke, which was intended to nudge an Ecclestone arm ball towards the third man, ended up giving wicketkeeper Amy Jones the tiniest of edges.

After Deepti Sharma joined Raj in the middle and reestablished the left-right combination, India limped to 100 in 31.5 overs. In the 42nd over, Shrubsole returned for her second spell. Raj scored her 56th ODI fifty with a lofted four over mid-on off the opening ball, to the delight of the 1200-strong audience. Sharma, though, became England's fifth - and Shrubsole's second - wicket of the day when her effort to push one off the pads resulted in the ball pinging her in front of the leg and off. India looked into it, but to no avail.

The presence of Pooja Vastrakar at the crease signaled a shift in India's strategy. Raj showed more urgency after that, slicing past point and choosing the region behind short fine for back-to-back fours off Shrubsole, who had given away 15 runs in the 44th over, the most in an over up to that point.

Raj lost the top of her off stump in Ecclestone's first over of her second and final stint after a shaky effort at dabbing the ball past the keeper. Raj's 108-ball 72 pin India's quest of a decent score, with everything from a blow to her forearm owing to her apparent unwillingness to take the short ball head-on to drop anchor to allow for a rebuild.

India might not have made it to 200 if it hadn't been for No. 7 Vastrakar's 17-ball 15. In the end, 201 was insufficient to take on the defending ODI world champions.

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