India continued their unbeaten run in the Tri-series thanks to some all-round bowling performance headlined by the wily Deepti Sharma. They registered their third win of the tournament to end the double round robin stage – one match was washed out – beating West Indies at Buffalo Park on Monday (January 30).
Continuing her lucky streak, Harmanpreet Kaur won yet another toss and this time put West Indies into bat. And it was familiar sight for the Caribbeans as they continued to struggle against an all-round Indian attack.
Although the openers hit a couple of boundaries, Rashada Williams never looked comfortable at the crease and the introduction of Deepti saw wickets falling back-to-back including that of Williams.
The off spinner lured the right hander into a drive and bowled her through the gate before getting Shemaine Campbelle with the next delivery. At the other end, Hayley Matthews was growing in confidence and hit Shikha Pandey for a couple of fours.
The West Indies captain managed to hit a boundary off Deepti as well before Djenaba Joseph played out a maiden against Rajeshwari Gayakwad. The left-arm spinner got reward for some persistent lines when she had Joseph trapped in front for just three runs.
In the 12th over, West Indies suffered a big blow when Matthews miscued a pull off Pooja Vastrakar only to see wicket-keeper Yastika Bhatia settle under the skier. Matthews scored 34 off 34 balls.
What followed was another period of attrition with no runs coming and eventually debutant Zaida James had enough and launched Pandey over long-on for a six. Aaliyah Alleyne, playing her first game of the tournament, showed some intent and eventually West Indies could only score 94 runs for the loss of six wickets.
For India, Deepti finished with incredible figures of 3 for 11 from her four overs while Vastrakar picked up two wickets.
Chasing a moderate target, India lost Smriti Mandhana early with Shamilia Connell getting one to nip back past the left hander. Jemimah Rodrigues, opening for the second match in a row, drove Jannillea Glasgow through extra-cover for a four before pulling the pacer for another boundary.
In the next over, Harleen Deol joined Rodrigues with a flick off Connell for a boundary. Growing in confidence, Rodrigues cut Alleyne for another four – her third of the innings – through point. India were comfortably placed at 36 for 1 at the end of the power play.
However, once again Matthews took things to her hand to remove Deol in the eighth over for 13 off 16.
Arrival of Harmanpreet at the crease injected some urgency into the running between the wicket and the captain started with a cover drive for four before taking a few braces in the over bowled by James.
At the other end, Rodrigues rocked back on the back foot and pulled a short delivery off Fletcher for four through mid-wicket before cutting Alleyne for another boundary. From there, the duo were in a hurry to finish the match in quick time and Harmanpreet hit a few boundaries as India romped home without any trouble. They added 54 runs during their unbeaten stand.
Brief Scores: West Indies 94/6 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 34; Deepti Sharma 3/11, Pooja Vastrakar 2/19) lost to India 95/2 in 13.5 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 40*, Harmanpreet Kaur 32*) by 8 wickets POTM: Deepti Sharma