A dramatic finale saw Arran Brindle’s England beaten in the opening game of their Women’s Cricket World Cup defence against Sri Lanka on Friday morning.
Needing nine off the final over and a single off the last ball, Sri Lanka scraped home by one wicket after the defending champions had set them a target of 240 to win in Mumbai.
England’s consolation came in the shape of solid contributions from debutant Amy Jones who made 41 and Jenny Gunn who struck a half century (51) as Charlotte Edwards’ team totalled 239-8 off their 50 Overs.
Batting at three, Louth’s Arran Brindle A Brindle struck a handy 31 off 64 balls before being run out by Weerakkody/Dolawatte to make it 93-4.
And Arran’s two wickets, opener Jayangani and her run out nemesis Weerakkody, could not prevent Sri Lanka taking the win.
Katherine Brunt and Georgia Elwiss alo two wickets apiece, but the momentum of the game swung Sri Lanka’s way as they struck five sixes on the way to reaching their victory target by the closest of margins – thanks largely to a 41-ball 56 from Eshani Kaushalya.
After the game Wngland’s Georgia Elwiss said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result today and with our performance; we didn’t bring our ‘A’ game and Sri Lanka did.
“There were areas were we controlled the game, Jenny Gunn and Amy Jones, on her debut, put on a good partnership and our lower order showed what they could do with the bat.
“When we played a warm up game here earlier in the week we felt that 270 was par on this pitch, but we backed ourselves to go out and defend our decent total.
“We gave them too much width at times and they capitalised on that, there were periods where we pulled it back taking wickets but ultimately we gave them too many opportunities to score.
“We know what we have to do; we’ll be putting everything into training tomorrow and coming out hard against India on Sunday.”
On her debut Amy Jones said: “I was pleased to make my debut today and make a contribution, but I’m disappointed with the result.
“I was with the England squad for the World T20 in Sri Lanka and have made the step up from the England Women’s Academy.
“I’m in a squad with 14 very talented players and although I had shared the wicket keeping with Sarah in the warm up matches and we are all told to be ready to play, I wasn’t sure if it would happen out here in India.
“Despite the result this is an occasion that I will always remember.”
Brindle’s England now turn their attentions to their match against hosts India on Monday in Mumbai, where they hope to kick-start what has began as a stuttering campaign.