India women 119 for 4 (Ghosh 44*, Kaur 33, Ramharack 2-14) beat West Indies women 118 for 6 (Taylor 42, Campbelle 30, Deepti 3-15) by six wickets
Cape Town: India eased to a six-wicket win over West Indies at Newlands in Cape Town to make it two wins from two in Group 2 at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh combined for a decisive partnership worth 73 runs to put India within touching distance of victory, while spinner Deepti Sharma made history in the game by taking 3/15 and becoming the first Indian to reach 100 wickets in T20 internationals.
A lightning start, inspired by the aggression of Shafali Verma, saw India rack up 41/2 in the Powerplay, putting them in control of a chase of 119.
Smriti Mandhana was the first wicket to fall, stumped off the bowling of Karishma Ramharack, and Jemimah Rodrigues joined her back in the pavilion after being sharply caught and bowled by Hayley Matthews
Verma’s onslaught came to an abrupt end when she was caught for 28 from 23 balls, leaving captain Kaur and Ghosh out in the middle with work still to do.
The game was paused for lengthy and concerning treatment for West Indies veteran Stafanie Taylor, who appeared to suffer a recurrence of a back injury in the field. And the delay broke the flow of the West Indies bowlers, without momentum swinging decisively in India’s favour.
A classy partnership between Kaur (33 from 42) and Ghosh (44* from 32) helped India ease to victory with time to spare, and West Indies suffered another blow late in the match when captain Matthews also appeared to pick up an injury – leaving West Indies facing the prospect of playing their remaining Group 2 matches without both of their star openers.
Earlier, India’s bowling attack, inspired by the record-making Deepti Sharma, curtailed West Indies after a strong second-wicket partnership had threatened to set up a big first-innings score at Newlands.
West Indies suffered a big setback when they lost Hayley Matthews at the start of the second over, with the key opening batter dismissed for the fourth time in four meetings by Pooka Vastrakar.
The key wicket of Matthews was a big fillip for India’s attack, but experienced West Indies star Taylor led the recovery, back in the side at this tournament after a lengthy injury absence.
Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle built a solid 50-run partnership by the mid-point of the innings, laying a platform for a potentially big score.
But Sharma struck twice in an over to first remove Campbelle (30) and then trap Taylor (42) lbw on review.
And when Chinelle Henry was run out for 2 in the 15th over, West Indies were in serious danger of wasting the start by Taylor and Campbelle.
Chedean Nation and Shabika Gajnabi combined to ensure that the total was at least competitive, adding 35 runs before the latter was cleaned up by Renuka Thakur for 15 as she went for a big heave off the final ball of the penultimate over.
And Sharma struck for the third time in her fourth over and the last of the innings, picking up the 100th T20I wicket of her career, becoming the first Indian international to do so in the format.