Cricket - England win
England’s Heather Knight (back to camera) and Sophie Ecclestone celebrate winning their league match against India during the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval in Tauranga. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: England earned their first win of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 with a four-wicket victory over India in Tauranga on Wednesday.

Off-spinner Charlie Dean delivered career-best figures of four for 23 to bundle India out for 134 as seven batters failed to get past single figures. Nat Sciver’s 45 from 46 balls helped rescue England from four for two in reply as the defending champions chased down the modest total with 18.4 overs to spare.

Playing after their mammoth win over the West Indies, the free-scoring Smriti Mandhana lost her opening partner Yastika Bhatia four overs in as Anya Shrubsole earned her 100th ODI wicket - bowling Bhatia for eight off 11.

Sophia Dunkley showed it was finally to be a good day in the field for England as she hit the stumps with a direct hit but skipper Mithali Raj was safely home before taking a low catch three balls later to dismiss Raj for one.

Shrubsole went 11 balls without conceding a run, but India’s patience did not pay off as Deepti Sharma went for a 10-ball duck as England got a run out, Kate Cross finding the stumps to reduce India to 28 for three.

Spin was brought into the attack in the 14th over as Sophie Ecclestone ran in for the first time since moving top of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Rankings for ODI Bowlers. But it was her spin twin Dean who took a wicket first, dismissing Harmanpreet Kaur for 14 from 26 balls as she nicked behind to wicketkeeper Amy Jones before Sneh Rana fell exactly the same way two balls later to give Dean a double wicket maiden.

Mandhana brought up the first boundary for eight overs as she sent Ecclestone to mid-off before the Spinner got revenge three balls later dismissing her LBW.

Despite calling for the review, there was no reprieve for Mandhana as India slipped to 71 for six.

Dean thought she had her third as Pooja Vastrakar was given out leg before but the review showed the impact was outside the line. It did not matter as Dean dismissed her two balls later in the same way, a review not able to save Vastrakar this time.

Wyatt’s poor start to life as a World Cup opener continued as she was dismissed for one as Sneh Rana took a great catch at slip before Tammy Beaumont was given out LBW on review for Goswami’s 250th wicket in ODIs.

Sciver then survived by the barest of margins as she edged a bobbling ball onto the foot of the wickets but the bails did not move. That proved crucial, as she made use of her second life, putting on 65 runs with Heather Knight before she was tamely dismissed by Vastrakar for 45 from 46 balls as she sent a ballooning catch to Goswami at midwicket.

Brief Scores

England beat India by four wickets. India 134 all out in 36.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 35, Richa Ghosh 33; Charlie Dean 4/23, Anya Shrubsole 2/20) vs

England 136/6 in 31.2 overs (Heather Knight 53 not out, Nat Sciver 45; Meghna Singh 3/26). Player of the Match: Charlie Dean (England)