Women's World Cup: Buoyant India take on jittery England in second game
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Buoyed by the comprehensive 105-run victory in their Group A opener against the West Indies, hosts India go with their tails up against jittery defending champions England in a crucial league game of the ICC Women's World Cup at the Brabourne Stadium here tomorrow.
Everything fell in place for the Mithali Raj-led home team as they totally outplayed their counterparts from the Caribbean islands two days ago to register a thumping victory at the same venue to log two points.
A record opening wicket stand of 175 between India's first-ever World Cup centurion Murugesan Tirushkamini and Poonam Raut set up a huge total for the hosts to defend in style under lights, a day before Sri Lanka sent a shockwave by upsetting the apple cart of England with a last-ball, one-wicket win.
England, led by five-time Cupper Charlotte Edwards, are under tremendous pressure to save their stuttering campaign as a loss to India would almost certainly spell curtains for their hopes of winning back-to-back titles in the most important tournament for women.
The three-time winners and India have fought close bilateral rubbers in recent times with the latter winning 3-2 at home in 2009-10 and England winning the last rubber in their backyard by a similar margin after coming from 0-2 down.
In between England won a one-off game at Derby. But the way Lanka played and notched their first-ever win over England in nine ODIs, it must have given Mithali Raj's team a tremendous mental boost.
Putting more pressure on the 2009 Cup winners ahead of the game, Mithali today termed England's bowling as 'weak'.
"I think England has a good batting side, but their bowling is weak. They depend on Katherine Brunt a lot. Last year we played England and our batters are comfortable playing their bowlers. We are well prepared," said the India captain.