Maine sakhiyon se akhiyon me
Rakhna hai piya thoda zyaada zyaada…
These lyrics of a popular Bollywood song loosely translate to ‘O love, I have become your Radha, keeping you in my eyes more than my friends’.
Although not in the same vein, Radha Yadav kept an eye on West Indies' batters, keeping them on a leash as she merrily danced her way to a spell that read 4-2-6-2.
That, plus Deepti Sharma’s two for 12 and a wicket each by every other bowler meant that India outclassed West Indies yet again by seven wickets on Thursday (November 14) at the Providence Stadium in Guyana to seal the series with two matches to go.
For the second successive time, Anisa Mohammed had opted to bat after the coin landed in her favour. And as the story repeated itself, that was the only thing that went the hosts’ way as they lost Hayley Matthews early in the piece for five. Anuja Patil, coming in for Shikha Pandey, struck early, carrying the trend set by the one she replaced in the XI.
Soon Radha got her first one as she got Shemaine Campbelle stumped for two. West Indies had then crawled to a lowly two for 12 in the power play.
The phase after that was no different as more runs came at a premium, even though the hosts had lost only one more – Stacy-Ann King (7 off 24) being knocked over by Deepti. They were three for 26 at the halfway stage.
It was then about more wickets to spin, as the middle order caved in, with the Indian spinners picking seven of the nine wickets to fall. Pooja Vastrakar, the right-arm seamer, picked one, while Natasha McLean was run out, attempting a run that wasn’t there at all.
Eventually, the hosts were restricted to 59 for nine, with Chedean Nation and Chinelle Henry (both 11) being the only ones to enter double figures.
For a change, West Indies managed to see the back of the Indian openers – and cheaply at that – in their chase of 60. Matthews opened the bowling and an unnecessary adrenaline rush saw Shafali Verma being stumped for a duck in the first over. Soon, Smriti Mandhana departed as well, again to Matthews, with Shakera Selman taking a good low catch at covers. The tourists were reduced to 13 for two.
Jemimah Rodrigues then showed her class, with an unbeaten 40 off 51 balls. Although she was dropped by Sheneta Grimmond on 16, she didn’t let it affect her as she laced her innings with boundaries. Deepti gave her company as the duo saw off the chase with 20 balls to spare.
Brief Scores: West Indies 59/9 in 20 overs (Chinelle Henry 11, Chedean Nation 11; Radha Yadav 2-6, Deepti Sharma 2-12) lost to India 60/3 in 16.4 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 40*; Hayley Matthews 2-7) by seven wickets. PoM: Jemimah Rodrigues