Smiriti Mandhana's unbeaten 106 and Indian skipper Mithali Raj's 46 helped India hand out a crushing 7-wicket defeat to West Indies. Earlier, exceptional bowling performance by Poonam Yadav (2/19), Deepti Sharma (2/27) and Harmanpreet Kaur (2/42) restricted the Windies side to a paltry 183.
Brief Scores: West Indies 183/8 (Hayley Matthews 46, Afy Fletcher 36; Poonam Yadav 2/19, Deepti Sharma 2/27) lost to India 186/3 (Smriti Mandhana 106*, Mithali Raj 46; Stafanie Taylor 1/24, Shamilia Connel 1/23) by 7 wickets.
India won the toss and opted to field first, and Indian skipper Mithali Raj cited the initial moisture in the pitch as the reason for the team to bowl first. West Indies started the proceedings cautiously initially, but Hayley Matthews later picked up the pace to take them to 29-0 at the end of six overs. However, Raj brought in left-arm orthodox spinner Ekta Bisht into the attack, and the change did wonders for the team as Bisht scalped her first wicket on her very first delivery.
The Windies side, however, rebuilt their innings slowly to 69 by the 19th over but once again faltered against the off-spin of Deepti Sharma to lose their second wicket - Matthews lost out on a well-deserved fifty as she hit the ball back to the bowler. The Indian team followed it up with a brilliant fielding effort that resulted in a run-out in the 20th over to make it 70/3.
The third wicket was followed by a run-drought that piled up more pressure on the Windies. Poonam Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur reaped the benefits of the pressure as they bagged two apiece to put the Windies at 121-7 at the end of 40 overs. They ended the innings on a high scoring 18 runs off the last over which helped them post 183 on the board.
Defending the total, Shamilia Connell gave the Windies the perfect start by dismissing the in-form Punam Raut for a duck in the very first over. India lost their second wicket soon after when Deepti Sharma was bowled out by Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor with just 33 runs on the board. But, Smriti Mandhana kept firing at the other end to keep India in a commanding position in the match. Indian skipper Mithali Raj then came out onto the field and complemented Mandhana brilliantly to weave a 108-run partnership that guided the Indian innings to a score of 141-2 in 33.1 overs.
However, Raj missed out on her eighth consecutive half-century by a margin of 4 runs when she was dismissed in the 34th over.
Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?
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