India and England went into the Group A clash at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai having experienced contrasting fortunes in their previous encounter. India beat West Indies rather convincingly while the English women were shocked by Sri Lanka in a pulsating encounter. Being so, India would have gone into the clash on Sunday high on confidence while the defending champions would have been under extreme pressure to get their campaign back on track following the reversal a couple of days back. And, England used all their experience to bounce back in style.
English skipper Charlotte Edwards, who had been going through a bad run in recent times, proved why she is a legend of the game, coming up with a fine century just when her team needed it. After putting England into bat, India did start on a positive note, thanks in main to Jhulan Goswami, who once again came up with excellent opening spell during which she sent back opener Danielle Wyatt. Goswami deserved more wickets, but such is the nature of the game that bowlers aren’t always rewarded as per the amount of effort they put in.
As for England, they did very well to recover from the early loss. The century partnership between Edwards and Sarah Taylor was instrumental in setting up the win for the English ladies. Edwards wasn’t timing the ball well at the start, but to her credit she hung around and did not throw away her wicket in frustration. Using all her vast experience, Edwards battled the hard times, and built an innings of substance. Taylor also supported her very well at the other end, and even though the runs weren’t coming at a fast clip, the fact that England kept wickets in hand allowed them to attack unabashedly at the end.
India, it must be said, looked flat on the field, once the Edwards-Taylor partnership began to flourish. They did keep trying hard, but it must be mentioned here that England just did not give them any chance, as a result of which slowly but surely India started feeling the heat. Apart from Goswami, no one other bowler in the Indian attack looked threatening. India probably missed a pace bowler, as the spinners were easily taken apart by the English eves in the last few overs. The brazen assault on the Indian bowlers towards the end gave England the additional edge going to the break.
Having been demoralised in the field, India needed a solid start from their openers to regain confidence. Katherine Brunt ensured nothing of that sort happened. She bowled an excellent opening spell during which she took out the big names, last-match centurion Thirush Kamini and skipper Mithali Raj. With Poonam Raut also registering a failure, India found themselves on the back foot very early in the chase. Harmanpreet Kaur did come with a wonderfully composed century, and found good support from Karu Jain. But England did well to keep the run rate out of India’s reach for most part of the innings, and, in the end, were deserved victors.
--By A Cricket Analyst