Smriti Mandhana slams unbeaten 106 to guide India to seven-wicket win over West Indies at Taunton
India's Smriti Mandhana celebrates her century against West Indies at Taunton yesterday. India won by seven wickets. Pic/Getty Images
Opener Smriti Mandhana made amends for missing out on a hundred against England with a scintillating unbeaten 106 guiding India to a comfortable seven-wicket victory against West Indies in the Women’s World Cup here yesterday.
Chasing a modest target of 184, Indian eves won with as many as 45 balls to spare, courtesy another superlative performance from the left-handed opener Mandhana.
After her match-winning 90 against hosts England, Mandhana started from where she had left the other day, hitting 13 fours and two sixes - both pull shots.
Along with the ever-dependable skipper Mithali Raj (46), Mandhana added 108 runs for the third wicket virtually shutting the World T20 champions out of contest. Mithali was unlucky not to score her eighth consecutive half-century in ODIs missing by a mere four runs. She would rue the chance as a loopy full toss from off-break bowler Hayley Mathews was hit straight to Afy Fletcher at mid-off.
But young Mandhana did not let the second chance go abegging, hitting some delightful strokes all-round the park. Mandhana went for her shots without much pressure.
The century - her second in ODIs, came when she charged down the track to loft Stafanie Taylor inside out to get to her ton off 105 balls.
Earlier, India’s spin troika of left-arm spinners Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma, and off-spinner Harmanpreet Kaur restricted the West Indies to a lowly 183-8 in 50 overs.
Spinners share spoils
Deepti (2-27), Poonam (2-19) and Harmanpreet (2-42 in 10 overs) shared bulk of the spoils with opener Hayley Mathews being the top-scorer with 43.
Shanel Daley (33) and Afy Fletcher (36) showed some defiance down the order taking the score to plus 180, which at one point in time was looking improbable. Apart from the trio, the other impressive performer was another left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht (1/23 in 10 overs). The normally economical Jhulan Goswami went for runs as Mathews hit seven boundaries during her 57-ball knock.
However between overs 20 and 35, West Indies innings went haywire at the County ground - a venue which was ruled by Sir Vivian Richards during his days for Somerset in county cricket.
The Caribbean batters found it difficult to hit leg-break bowler Poonam and the tight bowling from Deepti and Ekta. Harmanpreet went for some runs but got crucial breakthroughs.
WI 183-8 in 50 overs (H Matthews 43, A Fletcher 36*; Poonam 2-19) lost to India 186-3 in 42.3 overs (S Mandhana 106*, M Raj 46; S Connell 1-23) by 7 wickets
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