Mandhana stars as dominant India defeat England in ODI opener

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Smriti Mandhana's elegant 91 off just 99 balls guided India to a seven-wicket win over England in their women's one-day international opener at Hove on Sunday.

India were set a target of 228 after a maiden ODI fifty from Alice Davidson-Richards, who finished on exactly 50 not out, helped England recover from 128-6 to a total of 227-7.

But opener Mandhana, long acknowledged as one of the leading batters in the women's game, anchored India's chase in an excellent innings featuring 10 fours and a straight six off fast bowler Issy Wong.

While there was disappointment for India in the 26-year-old left-hander failing to score her sixth hundred at this level, captain Harmanpreet Kaur, herself a renowned batter, put the match beyond England's reach with an unbeaten 74 off 94 balls as the tourists won with nearly six overs to spare.

It was fine response by India, defeated 2-1 by England in the preceding Twenty20 series.

England were left to rue dropping Yastika Bhatia on seven at south coast county Sussex's Hove ground.

Bahatia, batting at number three, went on to make a quickfire 50 featuring 38 runs in boundaries.

Mandhana shared stands of 96 and 99 with Bhatia and Kaur respectively.

She also hit back-to-back fours off Cross, but Bhatia was reprieved when she gloved a Wong bouncer only for wicketkeeper Amy Jones to drop the catch.

But with Mandhana in command, she fell nine short of a hundred when a leading edge off Kate Cross was held at mid-on.

England's top order failed to match their India counterparts' fluency.

But number seven Davidson-Richards bolstered England's total as she shared a partnership of 50 with Sophie Ecclestone (31) and an unbroken 49 alongside Charlie Dean (24).

England's total rarely looked like challenging India, however, with the hosts now looking to level this three-match series at Canterbury on Wednesday.