Ekta Bisht in action. ©Getty Images

Ekta Bisht’s 4 wicket haul helped India defeat England by 66 runs in the first ODI match of bilateral series against England held at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Bisht picked up two consecutive wickets in an over and ended the England innings with her final wicket to restrict them to a total of 136.

England won the toss and chose to bowl first. During toss, Mithali Raj spoke about the need of experience in the middle order which would lack due to Harmanpreet Kaur’s shoulder injury while Harleen Deol made her debut as she came out to replace her. India stuck to their match-winning combination of Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana, which won them the series against New Zealand.

Katherine Brunt, who opened the bowling innings for England made a comeback after an injury. The game started off with two loud appeals against the 18-year-old Rodrigues but she stuck to the crease and played Brunt watchfully. The aggression from Anya Shrubsole and Brunt was evident in the bowling as well as in the field. Mandhana hadn’t scored a run until the 4th over where she opened her account through a boundary. After the conclusion of the powerplay, runs started to flow as the opening pair went on to make 69 runs stand.

India lost Mandhana on the first ball after drinks break as Elwiss knock her out to gain England their first wicket. Deepti Sharma couldn’t survive for long as Ecclestone caught her in the loop and deceived her to gain a stumping. Mithali Raj walked out for the 181st time in her ODI career with this she became woman cricketer to play more ODI innings than any other woman, to overtake England’s Charlotte Edwards. Rodrigues fell two short of a half-century as she got caught and bowled by Ecclestone. Soon after, Natalie Sciver picked two wickets in one over to get the debutant Harleen Deol at 2 and Mona Meshram on the duck.

Raj and Taniya Bhatia secured a 54 runs stand to prevent India’s tumble. Bhatia lost her wicket to a direct throw from Sciver and got run out. Raj to fell shortly after which was a game changer for India. Jhulan Goswami’s cameo of 30 runs as in the last over Goswami hit a massive six which was first of the innings but lost her wicket soon after to post the total of 202.

In the second innings, India started off with a wicket as Amy Jones walked back in the second over after Sikha Pandey trapped her in a leg before. India displayed sloppy fielding as an overthrow cost them four runs. Taylor stepped out to play a shimmy down the leg as Pandey trapped leg before wicket. Beamount fell soon after, while Heather Knight and Sciver build a partnership of 79 took the momentum away from India.

Ekta Bisht pulled a blinder to run out Sciver for the sore of 44. Then on England team tumbled as Heather Knight played an unbeaten knock of 39 but couldn’t stop Bisht from wrapping up the team from the other end. Deepti Sharma set Daniel Wyatt up to get her out at a single run. Bisht deceived Brunt to get her first wicket with the help of easy work behind the stumps by Taniya Bhatia. Goswami clean bowled Elwiss to get her first wicket. In the next over, Bisht picked up three wickets in one over which saw an end of Shrubsole, Ecclestone and Hartley. Hartley was dismissed for the first time ever her career after 11 innings. England lost their last 4 wickets for 1 run.

India leads 1-0 in the ODI series. Both teams will meet at the same ground three days later for the second of three match series.