Mandhana, spinners outshine West Indies

By: Annesha Ghosh

After India’s spin attack overwhelmed the West Indies batsmen with flight and guile, Smriti Mandhana made short work of the 184-run chase with an unbeaten 108-ball 106. Her innings negated the stutter caused by the two early wickets lost in response to the pressure West Indies’ bowlers created with their fast, short-pitched bowling.

Mandhana carried on from where she left off against England, bettering her 72-ball 90 with a second ODI century and a first in the World Cup. She hit 13 fours and two sixes, punishing anything short. With Mithali Raj, she steered the larger part of the chase, adding 108 runs for the third wicket, before Raj, four short of her eighth consecutive fifty, holed out to mid-off.

Raj’s decision to bowl first failed to find much validation from her two frontline medium-pacers, Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey, who shared the new ball between them for the first six overs. Even though Felicia Walters looked unsure while negotiating Goswami’s off-stump line, Hayley Matthews took the attack to both opening bowlers, hitting them for a combined six fours in 27 balls.

On a moist pitch with a tinge of green, Raj turned to her spin spearhead, Ekta Bisht, in the seventh over. The left-arm orthodox bowler struck with her first ball, forcing an edge off Walters with generous flight outside off stump. The nick was quickly pouched by Sushma Verma, the wicketkeeper, who affected three more dismissals in the game – all of them being stumpings.

Summarized scores: India women 186 for 3 (Mandhana 106*, Raj 46) beat West Indies women 183 for 8 (Matthews 43, Yadav 2-19, Deepti 2-27) by seven wickets

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