ST. JOHN’S, Antigua- The West Indies Women opened their international home series against India Women with a thrilling one-run victory in the first Colonial Medical Insurance (CMI) One Day International, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
In front of thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans, celebrating their country’s thirty-eight Independence the West Indies Women won the toss and elected to bat first. A solid opening partnership between Natasha McLean and Stacy Ann King provided the foundation for the eventual total of 225/7. Mc Lean reached her second ODI half-century before she fell for 51. Captain Stafanie Taylor showed why she’s one of the premier women cricketers in the world. Stafanie struck a patient half-century to keep the team’s total ticking over. Chedean Nation, returning to the squad from injury also looked in fine form. Both players thumped the Indian bowlers on anything that was wide or wayward. Chedean reached an ODI career-high of 43 before she was caught off Jhulan Goswami. Just as the crowd was about to celebrate Stafanie reaching 100, Harmanpreet Kaur transformed into a superwoman, leaping into the air and plucking what was a certain six, to dismiss Stafanie for a brilliant 94 runs.
The West Indies Women finished their innings on 225/7. Shikha Pandey was the best bowler for India, finishing with 2/38, while Deepti Sharma had 2/41.
India looked set to take their time in achieving the 226-run target. Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues dropped anchor and played smart cricket, they took quick singles to keep the score moving when the boundaries were hard to come by. Chinelle Henry and Stacy Ann King, kept the India batters in check, with accurate lines and lengths. The concussion substitute had to be enforced when Chinelle slid into the boundary board while saving a valuable two runs. Shabika Gajnabi came on for Chinelle and what a turn around that proved to be.
Then, Anisa Mohammed and Shabika Gajnabi blew open the Indian middle and lower order. Anisa accounted for India captain Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma, while Shabika scalped Harmanpreet Kaur and Taniya Bhatia.
Anisa then accounted for the remaining two wickets in the last over of the innings, first ball Ekta Bisht and then Poonam Yadav of the last ball. Anisa achieved the career milestone of 150 ODI wickets, becoming the first spinner to take 150 ODI wickets and moving her to fourth on the all-time highest Women’s ODI wicket-takers list.
India all out for 224, giving the West Indies Women and Antigua a thrilling and memorable victory. Most importantly, the West Indies Women pick up two vital ICC Women’s Championship points, which they now total 9 points.
Player of the Match- Stafanie Taylor