India begin Cup on a high note, hand Windies a thrashing

  • Niranjana Nagarajan

    Niranjana Nagarajan is congratulated by teammates after taking wicket of West Indies player Deandra Dottin during the inaugural match of the ICC Women's World Cup in Mumbai. (AFP ...

  • Merissa Ria Aguilleira

    West Indies captain Merissa Ria Aguilleira reacts after her dismissal during their match against India at ICC Women's World Cup 2013 at Brabourne Stadium in ...

  • Women world cup

    Players celebrate the dismissal of West Indies' Kycia Knight during the opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup  in Mumbai. (AP Photo)

  • Deandra Dottin

    West Indies cricketer Deandra Dottin in action during the inaugural match of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2013 against India at Brabourne stadium, in Mumbai. ...

  • Poonam Raut

    Poonam Raut plays a shot during the inugural match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 between India and West Indies at Brabourne stadium in ...

  • Jhulan Goswami

    Jhulan Goswami bowls during the inaugural match of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2013 against West Indies at Brabourne stadium in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT ...

  • women's world cup

    West Indies' cricketers celebrate the dismissal of Indian wicket during the opening cricket match of the ICC Women's World Cup in Mumbai. (AP Photo)

  • Kycia Knight

    West Indies' cricketer Kycia Knight watches the bails being displaced resulting in her dismissal during the opening cricket match of the ICC Women's World Cup ...

  • Thirush Kamini Murugesan

    Thirush Kamini Murugesan celebrates after scoring a century against West Indies during the opening cricket match of the ICC Women's World Cup in Mumbai. (AP ...

  • Merissa Aguilleira

    West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira during the inaugural match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 against India at Brabourne stadium in Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/ ...

Ideally, a World Cup squad should be a settled outfit. But a barren run by the openers over the last year forced India to defy logic and recall a player after three years.

At the end of the day, it was the player, Thirush Kamini, who solved the opening woes and ensured the hosts recorded a crushing victory over West Indies in the Women's World Cup opener, in Group A.

The Chennai player scored 100, the first century by an Indian woman in a World Cup, taking India to 284 for six and beating their previous Cup best of 275 made against New Zealand in 2005. Seamer Niranjana Nagarajan responded by scalping three wickets to help bowl out West Indies for 179, earning a 105-run win at the Brabourne stadium on Thursday.

Only thrice in the last eight ODIs have Indian openers reached the double figure mark, with the highest being a paltry 35 against Australia. Thus India would have prayed for a turnaround when they were asked to bat first.

Big stand
Poonam Raut (75) and Kamini stitched together a 175-run partnership, the highest for India against a full International Cricket Council member.

"It was crucial for us to get a good start, we were expecting it from the openers on this good batting wicket," said skipper Mithali Raj. "Hope they continue like this against better teams."

With the scoop and delicate cuts a feature of Raut's game, she was the more aggressive to begin with. Once Kamini neared her half-century, she raised the tempo. She even stepped out against Shanel Daley's left-arm spin to strike the first six.

As the 22-year-old crossed the boundary rope, she looked up to the heavens in gratitude. "There were too many things I was thinking of. I was a bit nervous. But I kept telling myself to just keep playing each ball on merit."

 

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