T20: Krishnamurthy, Rodrigues bat India Women to 5-0 sweep
SUMMARY: India Women 134-3 from 20 overs (Veda Krishnamurthy 57*, Jemimah Rodrigues 50, Hayley Matthews 1-23, Aaliyah Alleyne 1-23, Anisa Mohammed 1-26) v West Indies Women 73-7 from 20 overs (Kyshona Knight 22, Shemaine Campbelle 19*, Anuja Patil 2-3)
By Avenash Ramzan
India Women completed a perfect T20 series against West Indies Women, winning the fifth and final game at Providence on Wednesday night by 61 runs.
In the end, the 5-0 series scoreline aptly exemplified the significant disparity between the two sides.
India Women proved to be the supremely better team against a Caribbean unit missing seasoned campaigners Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin, both out with injuries.
Needing to get 135 to avoid a series whitewash, West Indies Women shuffled their top order, lacked intent in the Powerplay and effectively lost the match by the halfway stage of the innings, crawling to 29-3.
By that stage, Kyshona Knight, who was promoted to open the batting, had laboured to nine off 29 balls, an innings of emptiness that defined West Indies’ reply.
She eventually managed to get 22 off 39 and Shemaine Campbelle chipped her way to 19 not out, but all that did was add some meat to their individual carry tally and help reduce the margin of defeat.
That West Indies Women had only three batters striking over 50 and none over 100 summed up the run-chase, as India Women all bowled at five or less per over, way below what the home side required at the start of the reply.
Off-spinner Anuja Patil, playing her 50th T20 International, again proved unplayable, delivering a miserly spell of 3-1-3-2.
Smriti Mandhana, holding the fort for regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, called correctly at the toss and had no hesitation in taking first strike.
Mandhana and Shafali Verma, who struck a six in the second over, added 17 for the first wicket before the latter went for nine.
Mandhana (seven) was dismissed without addition to the score, following which the players were forced off the field for about 20 minutes as three of the floodlight towers suffered a power outage. This was the second time in the series the towers went down.
Upon resumption, Veda Krishnamurthy and Jemimah Rodrigues bided their time and absorbed the early pressure imposed by the West Indies bowlers. Scoring opportunities were limited as the hosts kept a tight and length.
However, as the overs went by the Indian paid grew in confidence and gradually started to play their shots. Ones became twos and the bad balls were put away to boundary as the momentum shifted and the pressure was transferred to the West Indies.
Lapses by West Indies in the field didn’t aid their cause as both Krishnamurthy and Rodrigues completed fifties in a brilliant 117-run third wicket stand, which was broken when Rodrigues was bowled off the penultimate ball of the innings for 50 off 56 balls (3x4s).
Krishnamurthy remained unbeaten on 57 off 48 balls (4x4s).
At the presentation ceremony which followed, India Women were presented with the series trophy, Krishnamurthy was named Player-of-the-Match and 15-year-old Verma was adjudged Player-of-the-Series for her series-leading tally of 158 runs, including scores of 73 and 69 not out in the first two games in St. Lucia.