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Mandhana, Raj guide India to 35-run win over England

India women's cricket team launched their campaign at the ICC Women's World Cup with a comfortable 35-run win over England, riding on superb batting display by the top-order, here
on Saturday.

Put into bat, Smriti Mandhana struck a sizzling 90 off 72 balls in a dominating batting display as India posted an imposing 281 for three after being asked to bat.

Mandhana forged a 144-run opening wicket stand with Poonam Raut (86 off 134) before skipper Mithali Raj (71 not out) completed an unprecedented seventh consecutive half century in
ODIs.

India then returned to dismiss England for 246 with 15 balls to spare to make a resounding start to their World Cup campaign at the County Ground here.

It is India's first win over England in five years as they had all lost all six previous matches to the hosts.

Chasing 282 to win, England failed to build partnership with middle-order batswoman Fran Wilson (81 off 102) emerging as the highest scorer.

Her run out proved turning point of the game since England looked crusing when she was at the crease.

Off-spinner Deepti Sharma took three wickets for 47 runs.

Tammy Beaumont (14) and Sarah Taylor (22) gave England a decent start adding 33 in 8 overs but Shikha Pandey removed the openers and Deepti Sharma dismissed Natalie Sciver (18) as England slipped to 67 for 3 in the 18th over.

Heather Knight (46) and Wilson took the team across the 100-mark. But Knight was back into the hut in the 32nd over after being run out by Harmanpreet Kaur.
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