Taylor ton earns England win
A magnificent 156 by Claire Taylor helped England claim a 100-run victory over India in the first NatWest Series one-day international at Lord's on Monday.
Taylor put on a century partnership with Laura Newton to help England recover from the early loss of skipper Charlotte Edwards - and then propelled the total forward in another rapid century stand, this time with all-rounder Jenny Gunn, as the hosts posted a daunting 253 for three.
Play was delayed following heavy overnight rain and further showers in London in the morning, and the match was reduced to 48 overs a side when it finally got under way shortly before 1pm, with India winning the toss and putting England in to bat.
The home side had only put three runs on the board before disaster struck when captain Edwards was run-out. But Taylor arrived at the crease in front of a healthy crowd at the Home of Cricket, and began the process of rebuilding the innings with opener Newton.
The vice-captain made 51 off 92 balls before she too was run out, but Taylor also pushed past the 50 mark and had a century in her sights as England reached 148 for two going in to the last 15 overs of their innings, with Gunn alongside her.
The pair then accelerated dramatically, with Taylor remaining unbeaten at the close of her 151-ball innings, while Gunn made 32 off 38 balls before falling to a catch in the covers off the final ball by Jhulan Goswami off Nooshin Al-Khadeer.
In reply, India made a poor start as they slumped to 20 for three. Rumeli Dhar (five), Sulakshana Naik (four) and Anjum Chopra (three) all departed cheaply and only a stoic half-century from Mithali Raj (59) prevented the Indians from suffering a complete collapse.
Alongside Hemlata Kala (19) she pushed the total up to 70 before her partner fell to Isa Guha, while another brave stand with Reema Malhotra ensured the tourists at least reached respectability.
The score read 125 for four when Raj eventually departed, caught by Guha off Beth Morgan, and Malhotra followed her team-mate back to the pavilion soon after, lbw to Morgan for 27.
Asha Rawat (six) was the final wicket to fall, another scalp for Morgan (3-39), as India finished on 153 for seven off their allotted 48 overs.
England: Charlotte Edwards (c), Laura Newton, Claire Taylor, Jenny Gunn, Caroline Atkins, Sarah Taylor (wk), Beth Morgan, Rosalie Birch, Katherine Brunt, Isa Guha, Holly Colvin.
India: Mithali Raj (c), Jhulan Goswami, Anjum Chopra, Amita Sharma, Nooshin Al-Khadeer, Hemlata Kala, Reema Malhotra, Sulakshana Naik (wk), Rumeli Dhar, Preeti Dimri, Asha Rawat.