Harmanpreet Kaur hit a valiant century — her first in ODIs — but England’s 272 was a too steep for India to chase down as the home team went down by 32 runs in a Group A match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here on Sunday.

Harmanpreet’s knock (107 not out, 109b, 8x4, 2x6) gave plenty of joy to a large contingent of supporters in the North Stand, but it was a day on which England — with captain Charlotte Edwards leading from the front with a century of her own (109, 123b, 16x4) — was not to be denied.

It was a special day for Edwards also because she became the highest run-getter in women’s ODIs surpassing Australian Belinda Clark’s tally of 4,844 runs (from 118 matches) when she took a single off Reema Malhotra to reach 53. She also overtook Karen Rolton’s 4,814 runs (140 matches).

The England captain’s tally now stands at 4,901 in 162 ODIs.

It was England’s first win in two matches in the four-team round-robin league — an outcome that has the potential to make the last set of league matches on Tuesday between England and West Indies at the BKC, and India and Sri Lanka at Brabourne crucial.

West Indies leads the table followed by India, England and Sri Lanka. All four teams have two points each.

After India skipper Mithali Raj surprised everyone with a decision to field first, Edwards, opening the batting for England, took charge of the proceedings.

Jhulan Goswami was top class in her opening spell. M. Thirush Kamini did put down a sitter at slip, but the bowler had cause to celebrate soon; Danielle Wyatt hit her straight to Amita Sharma at mid-wicket.

Wyatt’s dismissal brought the gifted Sarah Taylor to the middle, and she and her captain set about repairing the early damage with a solid 100-run partnership.

Taylor played some spectacular shots in front of the wicket and cover off Sharma, Goswami and Niranjana Nagarajan. She was eventually caught short of her crease, but by the time she departed for a well-made 35, she had exhibited her extraordinary talent.

The fact that England recovered from a paltry 30 for one in the first block of ten power-play overs to a formidable total speaks a lot about the side’s tenacity.

After Taylor’s departure, Lydia Greenway, Katherine Brunt, Arran Brindle also contributed their bit to take their side to a formidable total.

But it was Edwards’s innings around which England’s innings virtually revolved.

Scoreboard

England: Charlotte Edwards run out 109 (123b, 16x4), Danielle Wyatt c Sharma b Goswami 2 (8b), Sarah Taylor run out 35 (72b, 3x4), Lydia Greenway c Raut b Goswami 29 (27b, 5x4), Katherine Brunt c Sharma b Sultana 21 (16b, 4x4), Arran Brindle (not out) 37 (32b, 4x4), Jenny Gunn c Malhotra b Niranjana 3 (5b), Heather Knight run out 2 (2b), Laura Marsh c Goswami b Niranjana 13 (11b, 2x4), Holly Colvin (not out) 6 (4b, 1x4), Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-12) 15; Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs) 272

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-104, 3-166, 4-198, 5-224, 6-232, 7-236, 8-263.

India bowling: Jhulan Goswami 10-1-50-2, Amita Sharma 5-1-21-0, Niranjana Nagarajan 10-0-56-2, Gouher Sultana 10-0-68-1, Ekta Bisht 10-0-44-0, Reema Malhotra 5-0-30-0.

India: Poonam Raut lbw b Shrubsole 4 (22b), M. Thirush Kamini lbw b Brunt 10 (10b, 2x4), Mithali Raj c Shrubsole b Brunt 8 (12b, 2x4), Harmanpreet Kaur (not out) 107 (109b, 8x4, 2x6), Karu Jain c Marsh b Brindle 56 (92b, 5x4), Jhulan Goswami c Knight b Marsh 19 (20b, 3x4), Reema Malhotra c Taylor b Brunt 17 (21b), Amita Sharma c Edwards b Brunt 0 (1b), Niranjana Nagarajan c sub b Wyatt 0 (1b), Ekta Bisht c Marsh b Wyatt 7 (10b, 1x4), Gowher Sultana (not out) 2 (2b), Extras (lb-6, w-4) 10, Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs) 240.

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-29, 3-29, 4-135, 5-172, 6-225, 7-225, 8-225, 9-235.

England bowling: Brunt 9-1-29-4, Shrubsole 6-0-32-1, Colvin 10-1-29-0, Marsh 10-0-55-1, Brindle 7-0-37-1, Wyatt 8-0-52-2.

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