India beat WI, Deepti reaches milestone
Off-spinner becomes first Indian -- woman or man -- to reach the 100-wicket milestone in T20Is as India pocket second win on the trot
In their first international after the heady day from the Women's Premier League (WPL) auction, India raced past West Indies in their second league game of the T20 World Cup in Cape Town, beating them by six wickets on Wednesday. The win could have been even more emphatic had Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and the returning Smriti Mandhana not fallen for glory strokes, with the asking rate only less than run-a-ball.
But from 43/3, chasing 119, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh guided the team home with their 72-run stand which was broken only four runs away from victory when Kaur holed out in the deep. Kaur’s (33) touch and Ghosh’s 44* (32) flashing blade were enough to thwart the West Indian challenge. With a Caribbean-style half pull past square leg, India’s power hitter Ghosh chased the target down with 11 balls to spare. Following their close win against Pakistan, this result takes India to the top of the Group B points table alongside England.
Deepti first to 100
Deepti Sharma became the first Indian – woman or man – to touch the 100 T20I wicket milestone. Her stand-out spell of 4-15-3 strangled West Indies batters on a slow wicket that assisted spin. “It’s a milestone and I am happy about that. But I am keeping my focus on the World Cup matches ahead,” Sharma said after the match.
The West Indians found only two truly productive overs, one each in the powerplay and at the death that went for 12 runs. But they could never provide the necessary momentum to their innings as India’s lead pacers Renuka Thakur (4-22-1) and Pooja Vastrakar (4-21-1) complemented Sharma’s efforts to perfection.
The only time West Indies were in the match with the bat was during Stephanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle’s second wicket stand. Although the pace of their partnership was strictly steady, Taylor did get two exquisite boundaries once the field was spread out – a lofted drive over covers, holding her shape against Thakur and inside-out in the same region against Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s spin.
It began going downhill for West Indies, when Campbelle (30) fell while attempting her first sweep of the match, of the reverse variety. She was caught sharply at short third by Mandhana off Sharma. Immediately after, Taylor was beaten in flight by Sharma to be dismissed on 42 in the 14th over. To Taylor’s misfortune, her back troubles resurfaced and she had to be stretchered out while fielding which leaves her further participation in doubt.
For India, it wasn’t a perfect match. With a dropped catch and several missed run-out chances on show, fielding is one area the support staff would have marked for improvement.