England's women endured an opening day batting horror show as they got their professional era underway against India women at Worsley in disappointing fashion.
The Test is unlikely to last the scheduled four days as sixteen wickets fell on day
one with India holding the advantage, closing on 87-6, in reply to England's 92 all out.
Prior to this Test England had only played four Tests since 2011 and India were playing their first Test in eight years. With women’s cricket generally focussing on ODI cricket this was a break from the norm and both sides were looking forward to the different challenge that Test match cricket brings.
After winning the toss India asked England to bat and immediately had them in trouble in swinging conditions. Opener Heather Knight departed with the score on one and England failed to recover from this point onwards. At lunch they were in danger of humiliation as they slumped to 49-5.
After lunch the situation failed to improve as the hosts were bowled out for just 92.
25 year-old Indian opening bowler Nagarajan Niranjana, one of eight debutants for India, inflicted the most damage with figures of 4-19, with all of the Indian bowlers capturing at least one wicket each and looking dangerous throughout.
England had just three players who reached double figures with wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor top-scoring with 30 from just 42 balls.
In reply India made a great start as they negotiated the dangerous England opening bowler Anja Shrubsole as they eased to 40 without loss. However, it was the introduction of
Nottinghamshire's Jenny Gunn (4-13) which brought England back into the match. Her
spell of bowling, from 12 overs, helped reduce the visitors to 64-6 before an unbeaten seventh wicket partnership enabled India to recover as they closed on 87-6, just five runs adrift of England's first innings total.
England would have been pleased with the way they fought back in the match but will know they have a long way to go before they can recover from their poor batting display.
Whoever can gain the upper-hand on day two may well emerge successful in this one-off Test. England will want to take early wickets if they are to avoid India establishing a
crucial first innings lead whilst India will know that any sizeable lead could be crucial in such a low scoring Test.
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