England's Fran Wilson trudges off after being run-out for 81 during India's 35 run victory ©Getty Images

India got their International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup off to a brilliant start after defeating hosts England by 35 runs in Derby today.

Half centuries from all of the Asian side’s top three batters, Poonam Raut, Smriti Mandhana and captain Mithali Raj, set them on course for a victory at the County Ground which not many had predicted on the tournament’s opening day.

They followed this up by stifling England at the start of their response as the home team struggled to get meaningful partnerships together.

Raut and Mandhana got India off to a great start as they put on 144 for the opening wicket before the latter was caught by Danielle Hazell off the bowling of England’s skipper Heather Knight for 90.

This gave the hosts a glimour of a chance to pull the Indian team back, but the wickets did not come their way as Raj, the second highest run score in international women’s cricket, played a well-crafted innings.

She and Raut added 78 runs for the second wicket before the opener was caught by Danni Wyatt for 86 off Hazell, with Nelson striking on 222.

Perhaps knowing India were heading to a good score with 7.3 overs left, Raj did not not up the pace excessively as she and Harmanpreet Kaur stayed at the crease and ticked the scoreboard over.

Raj did fall on the last ball of the innings, with Brunt striking again as Katherine Brunt took a catch, but her score of 71 and a knock of 24 not out from 22 balls by Kaur saw the final total come to 281.

If England were to win, they would require their highest ever World Cup run chase.

A nervy start came was made by England, with opener Tammy Beaumont being dropped in the second over.

Smriti Mandhana was India's top scorer today with her innings of 90 ©Getty Images
Smriti Mandhana was India's top scorer today with her innings of 90 ©Getty Images

However, her luck had expired when on 14 she went after a wide ball from Shikha Pandey only to see the ball find Mandhana in the slips.

Not long after her dismissal, her opening partner Sarah Taylor was also back in the pavilion as she also attacked a ball from Pandey which had a wider line, but sent it to Mona Meshram at mid-on, having scored 22.

Natalie Scriver was also out caught for 18 and at 67-3 off 17.1 overs, things were looking bleak for the hosts.

Knight and Fran Wilson showed some resolve as they compiled a 67 run partnership before the home captain became the first victim of four run-outs for her side after scoring 46.

Wilson ended up being the bright light for England as she made her way to 81, which included her putting 62 on for the sixth wicket with Brunt.

But as time ticked away and the run-rate increased, wickets started to tumble as India grabbed the last five for the loss of 30.

In today’s other match, New Zealand coasted to a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka, reaching a target of 189 with 12.2 overs remaining.

The star performance at the County Ground in Bristol came from opening bat and captain Suzie Bates who hit 106 not out from 109 balls.

Amy Satterthwaite also contributed healthily with the bat as she finished on 78 not out while Holly Huddleston picked up five wickets for 35 for the White Ferns.