London, July 23: Three-time champions England posted a competitive total of 228 for seven in 50 overs against India in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup at the Lord’s Cricket Ground here on Sunday.
Natalie Sciver (51), Sarah Taylor (45) and Katherine Brunt (34) were the major contributors for England.
For India, who are playing their second final till date, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami bagged 3/23, while spinner Poonam Yadav took 2/36.
After opting to bat, Lauren Winfield (24) and Tammy Beaumont (23) provided the hosts a strong start, putting up 47 runs for the opening wicket. While Indian pace ace Jhulan kept it tight from one end, Sikha Pandey leaked 28 runs in her first spell of four overs.
India bagged England’s first wicket when left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowled Winfield in the 12th over.
Beaumont then followed Winfield to the pavilion after having offered a simple catch off a full toss from spinner Poonam Yadav to Jhulan Goswami at deep mid-wicket on the third ball of the 15th over. England were then at 60/2.
Soon, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav dealt a big blow to the home fans as she got a LBW verdict against captain Heather Knight (1) to reduce England to 63/3 in 16.1 overs.
For England, the responsibility of arresting the slide fell on Sarah and Sciver. The pair played positive cricket against the hostile spin bowling from India.
Starting with ones and twos, they took the attack to the opposition by using their full might and power as they pulled England out of trouble.
Forced by the onslaught from the English pair, India captain Mithali Raj resorted to her pace ace Jhulan. And the Bengal veteran delivered for her captain as Taylor nicked one to wicket-keeper Sushma Verma in the fourth ball of the 33rd over, breaking the 83-run stand.
Jhulan struck again off the following delivery when a yorker hit the front pad of right-hander Fran Wilson (0) — and the umpire raised the dreaded finger.
Jhulan didn’t stop there. She got rid of Sciver off a ripping fast delivery in the first ball of the 38th over that struck the pads — and once again, the Indians got the umpire’s favourable response. Sciver left the middle after hitting five fours during her ninth 50 in ODI cricket.
The Indian pacewoman ended her quota of 10 overs, much to the relief of the English team.
Katherine later got good support from Jenny Gunn (25 not out) and collected crucial runs before being run out by a direct throw from Deepti Sharma at short cover.
Gunn and Laura Marsh (14 not out) put up an unbeaten partnership of 32 runs to take England to a competitive total of 228 runs.