|First one-day international, Hove|
|England 227-7 (50 overs): Davidson-Richards 50 (61), Wyatt 43 (50); Sharma 2-33|
|India 232-3 (44.2 overs): Mandhana 91 (99), Harmanpreet 74* (94), Bhatia 50 (47); Cross 2-43|
|India won by seven wickets; lead series 1-0|
Smriti Mandhana struck a match-winning 91 to guide India to a comfortable seven-wicket win over England in the first one-day international at Hove.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur finished 74 not out to take India to their target of 228 with 34 balls to spare.
Kate Cross claimed 2-43 but England’s young bowlers struggled, with Yastika Bhatia also hitting 50 for India.
England earlier slipped to 94-5 before Alice Davidson-Richards’ unbeaten 50 helped them post 227-7.
India, who were inconsistent in the Twenty20 series that England won 2-1, put in an assured all-round performance and capitalised on their hosts’ inexperience.
Veteran seamer Jhulan Goswami conceded just 20 runs and took one wicket from her 10 overs, while Deepti Sharma claimed 2-33.
With England needing their remaining senior players to step up in the absence of injured captain Heather Knight and Nat Sciver, batter Danni Wyatt added a fluent 43, but stand-in skipper Amy Jones and opener Tammy Beaumont made just 10 runs between them.
In reply, India lost Shafali Verma early but Mandhana and Bhatia, who survived two dropped chances, added 96 for the second wicket before Harmanpreet calmly kept her side on track and finished the match with a six to take the tourists to 232-3.
The series continues with the second ODI at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Batting inexperience shows for England
England fielded a similar team in the T20 series, during which India struggled in the cold, damp conditions of evening games.
But on a sunny day in Hove, England’s batters were tested by some disciplined and consistent bowling for one of the first times this summer.
Goswami, playing in her 202nd ODI, gave nothing away and England stumbled to 26-2 after the powerplay.
England were undone by some poor shots but were also put under pressure by a much-improved fielding display by India – exemplified by Harmanpreet’s stunning diving catch to remove Alice Capsey, making her ODI debut, for 19.
Davidson-Richards, playing in just her third ODI, led England’s recovery from 128-6, adding crucial lower-order runs with Sophie Ecclestone, who hit 31, and Charlie Dean, who made 24 not out.
But their total always felt below-par and India made easy work of their chase.
Mandhana leads the way for composed India
England’s inexperience was perhaps even more glaring with the ball.
Without the rested Katherine Brunt and Sciver, who is taking a break to focus on her mental health, England’s seamers struggled for the same nagging consistency that Goswami managed.
Cross led the attack well but lacked support as Issy Wong and Davidson-Richards provided too many loose deliveries for Mandhana and Harmanpreet to capitalise on.
The hosts struggled in the field, too. Bhatia was dropped by Wong and Jones, while Wong also put down Harleen Deol on nought.
England’s spinners Ecclestone and Dean were economical but unthreatening, as Mandhana played a chanceless, classy innings until she skied a delivery from Cross to Davidson-Richards.
Jones’ inexperience as captain was apparent – England had no answers for Mandhana’s effortless scoring all round the ground or Harmanpreet’s composure.
‘England don’t need to panic’ – reaction
England captain Amy Jones: “It is disappointing. We didn’t have enough runs with the bat, that was the main problem, but Alice [Davidson-Richards] batted brilliantly through the middle to give us a chance.
“We thought it was a trickier wicket but India bowled well and put a lot of pressure on us at the start. Losing regular wickets meant it was hard to get going, that cost us.”
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “We’re very happy because it was an important win for all of us.
“I was really happy with the way I batted because it was really important, firstly for myself to get those runs, but also for the team. The partnership between me and Smriti was really important and the way we built was outstanding.”
England all-rounder Georgia Elwiss on BBC Test Match Special: “England don’t need to panic. It was not their best performance but they are not a bad side.
“They have just been outplayed and India are a good side as well. They are allowed to do that.
“If England turn up and play their best cricket on Wednesday they are more than capable of beating India.”