Indian women’s team beat West Indies by eight wickets
Brilliant spin bowling from Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gaikwad helped India beat West Indies by eight wickets with 37 balls to spare in the last group stage match of the three-nation T20 series here on Monday. Deepti took three wickets for 11 runs in four overs with two maidens, while Rajeshwari achieved success by giving nine runs in four overs. All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar took two wickets for 19 runs in four overs.
West Indies captain Hayley Mathews scored 34 runs while opening the innings but her team could only manage 94 runs for six wickets. India achieved the target in 13.5 overs losing two wickets. India and South Africa have already booked their tickets for the final to be played on February 2. For India, opener Jemimah Rodrigues scored an unbeaten 42 off 39 balls while skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored an unbeaten 32 off 23 balls. Both shared an unbroken 54-run partnership for the third wicket.
Earlier, the Indian bowlers vindicated Harmanpreet’s decision to elect to bowl after winning the toss and kept the West Indies batsmen tight from the very beginning. After bowling the first three overs from Renuka Singh and Shikha Pandey, the captain handed over the ball to Deepti and she proved the confidence of the captain by taking the wickets of Rashada Williams (eight) and Shaman Campbell (zero) in two consecutive balls without conceding any runs in the fourth over. Retained.
Mathews hit two against Shikha in the fifth over and a four against Deepti in the sixth to leave West Indies 31 for two in the power play. Rajeshwari Gaikwad, who came to bowl in the seventh over, after increasing the pressure by putting a maiden, trapped Jenaba Joseph (three runs) in the ninth over. Mathews hit a four against Renuka in the 11th over to increase the reduced run rate but in the next over, Pooja Vastrakar was caught by wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia to end her 34-ball innings.
The West Indies team could score only five runs between the 12th to 15th over. Jayda James hit her first six of the innings against Shikha in the 16th over and second six against Deepti in the 18th over. Earlier in the same over, Deepti stumped Shabika Gajanbi (12). Zaida and Aliya Allen scored nine runs in the last over to take the score to 90. Pooja, however, achieved her second success by dismissing Allen on the last ball.
Chasing the target, India suffered a setback with the dismissal of Smriti Mandhana (five) in the second over but Jemima did not let the pressure dominate with two fours against Genelia from the other end. Coming in to bat at number three, Harleen Deol (13) hit a four against Shamila Connell. India’s score was 36 for one in the power play but in the eighth over, Harleen was caught by Mathews at mid-off to Gajanbi.
Harmanpreet hit the crease as soon as he stepped on the crease. He and Jemima hit two fours against Allen in the 11th over. In the 13th over, the Indian captain sealed the team’s victory by sending Jayda’s consecutive balls across the boundary line. Harmanpreet hit four fours in her 23-ball unbeaten innings while Jemimah hit five fours in her 39-ball unbeaten innings.