Ton-up Taylor dominates for England
Claire Taylor’s superb century ensured England made a winning start to the women’s World Cup with a 100-run victory over Sri Lanka in Canberra.
The 33-year-old’s eighth one-day hundred - 101 from 95 balls - carried England to an impressive 277 for five after being asked to bat first at the Manuka Oval.
Sri Lanka were then limited to 177 for seven from their 50 overs, seamer Laura Marsh the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 from her 10 overs - with spinner Holly Colvin taking 1-33.
After being asked to bat first, openers Caroline Atkins (50) and Sarah Taylor (38) got England off to a steady start with an opening partnership of 80. Atkins and Claire Taylor then came together and shared a 72-run stand for the second wicket.
Captain Charlotte Edwards (27) and Lydia Greenway (32 not out) also did their bit to guide England to an impressive total.
In response, Sri Lanka started solidly enough against England’s faster bowlers, advancing to 48 without loss from their first 14 overs.
But once Chamari Polgampola had been run out by Greenway, the rot set in. Suwini de Alwis top-scored with 37, but Sri Lanka never looked like getting close.
However, England’s fielding was not up to their usual high standards with players often fumbling their pick-ups and miscuing the ball giving away unnecessary boundaries.
England head coach Mark Lane said: “Claire Taylor played brilliantly today for us, using all her cricketing nous and experience. The opening bowling lacked penetration and at times the fielding was lacklustre.
“Although we accept the two points for the win we must show improvement in all three disciplines before we take on India on Tuesday.”
Claire Taylor added: “I’m pleased to get some runs early in the tournament. The Sri Lankans must be sick of the sight of me but all due respect to them for keeping going in the field with the ball and attacking us with the bat.
“I’m looking forward to playing against India on Tuesday which I think could be the key match in our group.”
Meanwhile, at the Bradman Oval in Bowral, India began their World Cup campaign with a comprehensive 10-wicket triumph over rivals Pakistan.
Rumeli Dhar took 3-7 as India bowled Pakistan out for just 57 in 29 overs, while Amita Sharma (2-9) and Priyanka Roy (2-13) also starred with the ball.
Sana Mir, who made 17, and opener Nain Abidi (11) were the only players to reach double figures.
India openers Anagha Deshpande and Anjum Chopra made short work of the total, wrapping up victory inside 10 overs.
Wicketkeeper Deshpande top-scored with 26 from 37 balls, while Chopra contributed a brisk 17 from 23.
The next round of Group B matches sees Pakistan play Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval on Monday, before England meet India the following day at the North Sydney Oval.