Mandhana, Harmanpreet bludgeon West Indies in dominant win

SUMMARY: India 167-2 (Mandhana 74*, Harmanpreet 56*; Bruce 1-25) beat West Indies 111-4 (Campbelle 47, Matthews 34*; Deepti 2-29) by 56 runs

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A humongous, authoritative partnership followed by a clinical bowling display helped India notch up their second win in the women’s T20 tri-series. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur added an unbroken 115 for the third wicket, both hitting half-centuries in the process, to power India to 167-2.

The Indian bowlers, led by Deepti Sharma‘s 2-29, then restricted West Indies to 111. Shikha Pandey, playing her first T20I since October 2021, returned economical figures of 0-18 off her four overs. West Indies’ only resistance came via a 71-run partnership between captain Hayley Matthews and Shemaine Campbelle.

West Indies gain early control

Having been asked to bowl first, West Indies made a good first impression. Shanika Bruce – making her West Indies debut, having played an international for Barbados at the Commonwealth Games last year – kept openers Yastika Bhatia and Mandhana, whom she had dismissed in Birmingham last year, quiet.

She regularly beat Bhatia’s outside edge and only gave away two fours in her two overs in the powerplay.

From the opposite end, Shamilia Connell, who was impressive against South Africa, barely gave away runs, bowling ten dots in her two overs. In all, West Indies bowled 21 dots in the phase and gave away only 37 – 12 of which came off a single Karishma Ramharack over in which Bhatia fell.

West Indies have now lost both games in the series (Photo: Getty Images)

Mandhana, Harmanpreet change the narrative

Harmanpreet was returning after missing the opening clash due to illness and found herself in the middle with Mandhana with India devoid of much momentum. They were placed at 60-2 at the 10-over mark with Mandhana on 21 off 20.

Harmanpreet then bookended the 11th over with fours off Matthews to signal a change of gears. The three overs after drinks saw India plunder 28. They also used the sweep against the leg-spin of Afy Fletcher and the delicate dabs against left-arm spinner Kaysia Schultz.

This was after wicketkeeper Rashada Williams dropped a regulation catch of Harmanpreet – when on 21 – in right-arm seamer Shabika Gajnabi’s first over. Mandhana took on Gajnabi’s next over, striking her for three fours, including one to bring up a 39-ball half-century. It was the 20th time she’d passed fifty, the third most by a player in T20Is.

The pair took 18 off the 18th over bowled by Connell, with Mandhana and Harmanpreet hitting a couple of fours each. Harmanpreet also completed a fifty in the final over as India managed to score 50 off the last four overs.

Campbelle, Matthews save West Indies the blushes

Deepti struck on her first ball in India’s defence of 167, trapping Britney Cooper lbw with the perfect off-spin where the ball beat Cooper on the inside edge before having Williams stumped in her next over. West Indies opted to hold Matthews back – opening with Cooper and Williams and then having Campbelle and Gajnabi at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. When Gajnabi was out lbw in the seventh over, the script seemed quite familiar.

But Campbelle and Matthews then steadied the ship and changed gears after the tenth over. While Campbelle swept the first ball of the 11th off Devika Vaidya for four, Matthews hit her for three more in the over. While both Campbelle and Matthews managed to find the boundaries regularly, the target was never really within sight.

They added 71 for the fourth wicket and it ended when Amanjot Kaur took a stunning catch after running to her left at deep midwicket and diving forward to dismiss Campbelle for 47.

Matthews, who was pushed down the order due to an ankle injury she had after the first innings, managed to stay unbeaten but West Indies fell short by 56. West Indies will need to win both their remaining games to stay in contention for the final. (ESPNcricinfo)

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