MUMBAI: Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliant unbeaten century went in vain as India suffered a 32-run defeat against defending champions England in their Group ‘A’ match of the ICC Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

Kaur blasted 107 off 109 balls, laced with eight fours and two sixes, to become the second cricketer from India to slam a ton in the World Cup. But the 23-year-old didn’t get much support at the other end as India made 240 for nine in reply to England’s 272 in their stipulated 50 overs.

Fast bowler Katherine Helen Brunt was the top wicket-taker for England as she returned with a four-wicket haul in nine overs.

Earlier, skipper Charlotte Edwards led from the front with a hundred to help the defending champions overcome a poor start and post 272-8. Edwards hit 109 to become the highest run-scorer in women’s cricket with 4901 runs, surpassing Aussie Belinda Clarke’s 4,844. She also became the fourth woman to score over a 1,000 runs in World Cups.

Edwards struck 16 fours, before being run out.

A maiden five-wicket haul by Rachel Candy helped New Zealand thrash Pakistan by seven wickets and ensure a place in the Super Six round.

Candy (5-16) was the star for White Ferns as they shot out Pakistan for just 104 in the 42nd over and then returned to overhaul the target, reaching 108-3 in 29.4 overs.

New Zealand rode on skipper Suzie Bates’ unbeaten 65 off 84 balls (10 fours) to hand Pakistan’s second loss in the tournament, following their 91-run loss to Australia.

Opener Stephanie Taylor, 21, cracked a career-best 176 as West Indies crushed Sri Lanka by 209 runs in their second Group ‘A’ fixture to resurrect their hopes of qualifying for the Super Six. The Caribbean islanders did it in style by rattling up their highest-ever ODI total of 368-8 before bowling out Sri Lanka for 159 in 40 overs.

Sri Lanka, who had stunned defending champions England with a thrilling last-ball win in their tournament opener at the Brabourne Stadium two days ago, never threatened to surpass the target and lost comprehensively.

Rachael Haynes cracked 83 to guide Australia to a three-wicket victory over South Africa in their Group ‘B’ match.Results:

Group ‘A’: England beat India by 32 runs.

ENGLAND 272-8 in 50 overs (C. Edwards 109, A. Brindle 37 not out, S. Taylor 35, L. Greenway 29, K. Brunt 21; J. Goswami 2-50, N. Niranjana 2-56); INDIA 240-9 in 50 overs (H. Kaur 107 not out, Karuna Jain 56; K. Brunt 4-29, D. Wyatt 2-52).

West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 209 runs.

WEST INDIES 368-8 in 50 overs (S. Taylor 171, D. Dottin 50, M. Aguilleira 47 not out, Kyshona Knight 44, Kycia Knight 30; S. Siriwardene 2-58, S. Ravikumar 2-69, C. Seneviratna 2-72); SRI LANKA 159 in 40 overs (D. Rasangika 28, P. Weerakkody 22; S. Quintyne 3-32, S. Daley 2-35).

Group ‘B’: Australia beat South Africa by three wickets.

SOUTH AFRICA 188-9 in 50 overs (M. Kapp 61, T. Chetty 59, S. Fritz 24 not out; E. Perry 3-35, M. Schutt 2-42); AUSTRALIA 190-7 in 45.4 overs (R. Haynes 83, L. Sthalekar 29, J. Fields 21, E. Osborne 20 not out; S. Ismail 4-41, S. Benade 2-38).

New Zealand beat Pakistan by seven wickets.

PAKISTAN 104 in 41.2 overs (Asmavia Iqbal 21, Bismah Maroof 20; R. Candy 5-19, N. Browne 2-12); NEW ZEALAND 108-3 in 29.4 overs (S. Bates 65 not out, K. Perkins 25 not out; Sana Mir 2-26).—Agencies

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