Women's World Cup: India loses to England by 4 wickets, inconsistency proves costly

Inconsistency returned to haunt India as it was bundled out for a lowly 134 by England, which chased down the target in 31.2 overs to record its 1st win in the tournament after a hat-trick of defeats.

The defeat failed to dislodge India from the top four as the Mithali Raj-led side is occupying the third spot in the eight-team standings with four points from two wins and as many losses.

An inconsistent India paid the price for a shoddy batting effort but England infused a new life into its title defence with a four-wicket win in a league-stage game of the ICC Women World Cup, here on Wednesday.

Inconsistency returned to haunt Indian batters as they were bundled out for a meagre 134 by England, which chased down the target in 31.2 overs to record its first win in the tournament after a hat-trick of defeats.

India got some runs on the board, thanks to previous game's centurion Smriti Mandhana, who top-scored for the side with a 35-run knock while wicketkeeper batter Richa Ghosh made 33.

With wickets falling intermittently, England bowled out India in 36.2 overs.

As it happened: IND v ENG Women's World Cup 2022 Highlights: Charlie Dean, Heather Knight lead England to four-wicket win over India

England also made a stuttering start to its chase as it lost both its openers -- Danni Wyatt (1) and Tammy Beaumont (1) -- cheaply with the scoreboard reading four for two in the third over. Wyatt was first to depart in the second over, courtesy a sensational diving catch by Sneh Rana off medium pacer Meghna Singh (three for 26).

Veteran Jhulan Goswami, the highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament, then trapped Beaumont in the second over after India went for the review. It was 250th wicket for the pacer in ODIs.

England skipper Heather Knight (53 not out) and Nat Sciver (45 off 46) then steadied England innings, playing cautiously to reach 34 for two in 10 overs.

While Knight played a captain's knock by anchoring the chase, Sciver took the attack to the Indian bowlers, hitting as many as eight boundaries during her entertaining knock.

SCORECARD

With just 135 required for a win, what England needed was a decent partnership after the early blows and Knight and Sciver provided that by sharing 65 runs for the third wicket.

Sciver's innings was cut short by Pooja Vastrakar. It was a soft dismissal and against the run of play as Sciver spooned a length ball to Goswami while looking to work the ball on the on-side.

Amy Jones (10) then stitched a 33-run stand for the next wicket with Knight before the former fell to a stunning backward running catch by India vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur at mid-on off Rajeshwari Gayakwad's bowling.

By then it was all over for India as England needed just 32 more runs. The Indians picked up two more wickets in the 30th over before England completed the formality.

Meghna dismissed Sophia Dunkley (17) and Katherine Brunt (0) within a span of three balls in identical fashion -- caught behind by wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh.

Earlier, India's batting was a sharp contrast to its performance against the West Indies in its last match when it rode on centuries from Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur to post 317 for eight, its highest total in the history of the showpiece event.

Charlie Dean (four for 23) was the pick of the bowlers for England while Anya Shrubsole also chipped in with two wickets as the Indians failed to build a decent partnership.

Having suffered three defeats from as many matches so far, it was a must-win match for title-holder and four-time champion England.

The defeat failed to dislodge India from the top four as the Mithali Raj-led side occupies the third spot in the eight-team standings with four points from two wins and as many losses.

England, on the other hand, opened its tally and is placed seventh with two points from four matches.

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