London: Skipper Mithali Raj led from the front with an unbeaten knock of 94 as Indian women's cricket team defeated England by five wickets in their first one-dayer here.
Chasing 230, the Indian Women overhauled the target with three balls to spare. It was a morale-boosting triumph for the Indian team, who had lost both the Twenty20 matches preceding the ODIs.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, the hosts were all out for 229. Right-arm pacer N Niranjana trapped both the English openers leg before wicket. England skipper Charlotte Edwards was dismissed in the second over and 62 runs later, Niranjana sent back Tammy Beaumont.
A few overs later, Archana Das dismissed Sarah Taylor. Wickets then continued to fall at regular intervals. Heather Knight was bowled Veda Krishnamurthy in the 30th over while Niranjana castled Jenny Gunn to leave the home team on 132 for the loss of five wickets.
After Laura Marsh edged Gouhar Sultana to the wicketkeeper in the 42nd over, Arran Brindle (58), the top-scorer for England, was claimed by Das. Jhulan Goswami then chipped in with the wicket of Katherine Brunt while Das crashed Danielle Hazell's woodwork to wrap up the England innings with five balls remaining.
Of the seven bowlers used by Raj, all except Meshram picked wickets. Niranjana returned with three scalps, while Das claimed four. It was not the best of starts for India as well as Mona Meshram, opening the chase with Poonam Raut, run out for nine with just 21 runs on the board.
However, Raj and Raut forged a 106-run partnership before the latter was eventually bowled by Danielle Hazell for 60. But Raj held up one end to ensure victory for the visitors. She, along with her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur, added 89 crucial runs for the third wicket.
Kaur, who scored a 51-ball 50 with four hits to the fence and the only six of the Indian innings, was Hazell's second wicket. Veda Krishnamurthy then chipped in six runs before falling to Danielle Wyatt while wicketkeeper Sulkashana Naik returned to the pavilion without opening her account. Raj, however, held steady to take India across the line.
England 229 all out in 49.1 overs (A Brindle 58, A Das 4/61, N Niranjana 3/28)
India 230/5 in 49.3 overs (Mithali Raj 94 not out, Poonam Raut 60, Harmanpreet Kaur.