Indian women found some much needed inspiration at the home of cricket, Lord's, as they stunned England by five wickets in the first One-Day International on Sunday.
India, who were comprehensively beaten in the two Twenty20 Internationals prior to the one-dayers, showed no sign of nerves as they steadily chased down 230 with three balls to spare.
Mithali Raj, the skipper, masterminded the run-chase with an unbeaten 94 after Poonam Raut, who opened the batting, laid the foundation. Raut's 60 included five boundaries as the duo put on 106 for the second wicket after Mona Meshram, the opener, had been dismissed for nine.
With wickets in hand, the Indian women managed their chase with intelligence even though the rate required had spiralled to more than seven runs with 13 overs left. Harmanpreet Kaur, who came in at No. 4, took the pressure off Raj with a run-a-ball 50. However, England were not done yet as they picked up the wickets of Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy (6) and Sulakshana Naik (0) before India finally prevailed.
England, who chose to bat in the morning, were rattled early by Niranjana Nagarajan, who picked up three wickets. The innings was given direction by Arran Brindle, who made 58 in 73 balls, and the in-form Sarah Taylor, who chipped in with 38.
Archana Das, the offspiner, was the most successful Indian bowler with four wickets, though she did concede 61 runs from her ten overs.
The second game of the five-match series will be played on July 4, Wednesday in Taunton.
Brief scores: England Women: 229 all out in 49.1 overs (Tammy Beaumont 27, Sarah Taylor 38, Aaran Brindle 58; Niranjana Nagarajan 3-28, Archana Das 4-61) lt to India Women: 230/5 in 49.3 overs (Poonam Raut 60, Mithali Raj 94 n.o., Harmanpreet Kaur 50; Danielle Hazel 2-34).