Team India opener Smriti Mandhana and captain Harmanpreet Kaur cracked fine unbeaten half-centuries as India Women cricket team defeated West Indies by 56 runs to keep their winning run in the Women’s T20I Tri-Series in East London on Monday (January 23). India, after winning the toss and electing to bat, were off to a good start and managed 167 for two in 20 overs. They then restricted the opponents to 111 for four to eke out their second consecutive win of the series.
Openers Yastika Bhatia and Mandhana stitched together a 33-run partnership before the former was dismissed by off-spinner Karishma Ramharack for 18 with just one delivery remaining in power play. Ramharack tossed the ball up outside off and Yastika attempted a drive over covers but ended up playing away from her body. A faint outside edge saw the opener give an easy catch to wicketkeeper Rashada Williams.
For her excellent unbeaten 7__4__*(51) in the first innings, vice-captain @mandhana_smriti bagged the Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia clinched their second win of the Tri-Series with a 56-run victory over West Indies _
Her dismissal brought in Harleen Deol but her stay at the crease didn’t last long, as she was trapped in front while trying to flick the ball on the off-side from pacer Shanika Bruce. The early response to the length ball saw the young middle-order batter miss the stroke, with the ball hitting her on the front pad.
At 52 for two, there were some tense moments but once Mandhana and Harmanpreet paired up, boundaries flowed freely. Harmanpreet, who was back leading the side after missing the opening match of the tri-series reportedly due to illness, was on song as she smashed a 35-ball 51 studded with eight boundaries.
Mandhana, after failing with the bat in the opening game against South Africa, was equally belligerent scoring 74 off just 51 deliveries as the duo batted together for nearly 12 overs to guide India to a competitive score. Mandhana, who was dismissed for seven runs in the tri-series opener against South Africa Women, hit 10 boundaries and a six, even as the opponents utilised seven bowlers to break the partnership.
A target of 167 was always going to be a difficult chase and India spinners led by Radha Yadav throttled the runs, giving away precious little by way of loose deliveries. The 22-year-old Radha gave away just 10 runs in her four overs while also taking the wicket of Shemaine Campbelle (47), who consumed 57 deliveries.
By the time Campbelle was dismissed attempting a pull off a full toss but holing out to Amanjot Kaur at deep mid-wicket, the match was as good as lost for West Indies as they were 96 for four with just 15 deliveries remaining.
Skipper Hayley Matthews and Afy Fletcher too couldn’t get the runs flowing and in the end a target of 167 proved too big to chase.
Brief scores: India Women 167/2 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 74 n.o., Harmanpreet Kaur 56 n.o.) bt West Indies Women 111 for 4 in 20 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 47, Hayley Matthews 34 n.o.; Deepti Sharma 2/29)
(with PTI inputs)
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