Spinners seal victory for India in a rain curtailed game

Padmaja Srivatsan
New Update
Bowlers' day out in Surat as India go 1-0 up against South Africa

Deepti Sharma celebrates the fall of a wicket. © Getty Images

Defending just 51, India's tweakers were right on the money as they did not let West Indies batters free their arms. Anuja Patil was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors claiming two wickets. She was well supported by the duo of Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma.

Anisa Mohammed's luck continued into the fourth match as she won yet another toss and sent India in to bat. The visitors opted to rest Poonam Yadav and Smriti Mandhana and brought in Mansi Joshi and Harleen Deol in an attempt to 'test' their bench.

Shafali Verma started things off by smashing Hayley Matthews over deep-mid wicket for a maximum in the very first over. The 15-year-old's joy was, however, short-lived as she was dismissed for seven runs caught at deep mid-wicket.

Matthews struck two more times in her second over, removing Jemimah Rodrigues for six, followed by Veda Krishnamurthy for five. Rodrigues was brilliantly caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Kyshona Knight, while Krishnamurthy spooned a full delivery to McLean at mid-off.

Wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals as the hosts pegged a strong India batting line-up back. Sheneta Grimmond, the off-spinner, castled Deepti Sharma for four before Afy Fletcher struck twice in her second over to dismiss Harmanpreet Kaur (stumped) and Deol (caught at short extra cover) to leave India struggling at 32 for 6 in seven overs.

Pooja Vastrakar and Taniya Bhatia's late blitz at the end, coupled with some shoddy fielding (again!) from the hosts, enabled India to eventually finish on 50 for 7 in their quota of nine overs.

Chasing an under par total, West Indies too had to face a whole lot of spin when they walked out to bat. Deepti opened India's account with a tremendous delivery that turned sharply off a length, well outside off-stump, and crashed into middle and leg stump.

Soon enough, Mattews, the only batter who could take West Indies home was out bowled by Patil for 11. The hosts at that stage were stumbling at 19 for 2 and their chances of winning were now looking bleak. Boundaries dried up as visitors' spinners didn't give away any loose balls.

Going in to the last phase of the game, the equation read 21 runs off 12 balls. Radha bowled the penultimate over and got the wicket of Henry off her first ball. McLean struck a boundary and brought the equation down to 13 runs needed in the final over.

Patil bowled the last over, keeping her nerve beautifully to help India seal a five-run win. The off-spinner kept her lengths full and on the stumps, forcing the batters to try and hit through the straight field.

The run out of McLean off the second ball of the final over pretty much sealed the deal in India's favour, allowing them to complete their fourth victory on the trot.

Brief Scores: India 50/7 in 9 overs (Hayley Matthews 3-13, Afy Fletcher 2-2) beat West Indies 45/5 in 9 overs (Anuja Patil 2-8) by five runs. PoM: Hayley Matthews.