Arran Brindle took two wickets but failed with the bat as England lost by an agonising two runs to Australia in their first super six game at the ICC Women’s World Cup in India.
After winning the toss, seamers Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt got straight on with the job by demolishing the Australian top order.
The in-form Shrubsole claimed three wickets for 24 runs as England dominated to reduce Australia to 32-5 in the 13th over.
Brindle took the wickets of Lisa Sthalekar for 41 and Megan Schutt for two.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and Holly Colvin emerged the most economical of the day with figures of 2-19 from her 10 overs.
Despite the 82-run partnership of Lisa Sthalekar and Sarah Coyte, Australia collapsed and were bowled out for 147 in the 45th over.
In reply England lost early wickets and were reduced to 39 for six after 11 overs, with Arran Brindle being caught with just one run on the board.
Lydia Greenway and Laura Marsh rebuilt with a 57-run partnership but it was left to the last pair of Colvin and Shrubsole to take England within sight of victory.
The pair put on 31 runs for the final wicket but fell three runs short of the target as Colvin nicked one to the keeper as England were bowled out for 145.
After the game Holly Colvin said: “Obviously we’re all disappointed with the result today and to get so close but not get over the line.
“We started very well and all our bowlers performed, especially Anya and Katherine up front, we were very happy to reduced them to 147.
“We knew the game was in our hands but we had a bit of a collapse in the middle. Credit to Lydia and Laura who did a good job to get us back in the game which allowed us at the bottom of the order to try and nick off those runs.
“I feel in good form and with how I’m bowling so I’ll be looking to continue and hope to put in some match winning performances in the next couple of games.
“We’re looking forward now to our next game on Sunday against South Africa over in Cuttack. We know they are a good side, but we got one up on them in a warm-up match so we’ll be looking for another strong performance on Sunday and going out to win as well as we can.”