Deepti Sharma shone with the ball before Richa Ghosh led India to a six-wicket win over West Indies in their Women’s T20 World Cup Group 2 match in Cape Town on Wednesday. Deepti spun a web around the West Indies batters to restrict them to 118 for six after being asked to bowl. The seasoned off-spinner (3/15) picked three wickets to become the first Indian to get to 100 women’s T20I wickets.
Ghosh (44 not out) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (33) then put up a vital 72-run stand to take India to their second victory of the tournament with 11 balls to spare.
Needing less than run a ball, India were off to an electric start with openers Shafali Verma (28) and Smriti Madhana (10) taking the team total to 31 in four overs on the back of six fours.
But India lost the momentum as slow bowling did the trick for West Indies.
Mandhana missed off-spinner Karishma Ramharack‘s (2/14) ball completely, resulting in an easy stumping for wicketkeeper Rasha Williams.
Last game match-winner Jemimah Rodrigues (1) became Hayley Matthews (1/12) first and only victim of the day as the skipper took a stellar catch of her own bowling.
After two low-scoring overs, Shafali tried to up the ante only to be caught at long leg and West Indies picked three wickets in quick succession.
Harmanpreet took her time to settle down before hitting back-to-back fours off Afy Fletcher (0/24) in the ninth over. The India skipper’s knock came off 42 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Ghosh did what she does best — finish the game.
The youngster hit five fours, including one to finish off the match in her unbeaten 32-ball innings. She took India to 119 for 4 in 18.1 overs. Earlier, Pooja Vastrakar (1/21), opening with the new ball, gave India the early breakthrough, getting rid of the dangerous Hayley Matthew (2), striking on her very first ball.
The West Indies skipper was done in by the extra bounce as Richa Ghosh completed a regulation catch.
Pooja continued to put pressure on the West Indies, bowling a wicket maiden. Shemaine Campbelle (30) hit West Indies’ first boundary in the third over, slapping a Renuka Singh (1/22) delivery past square leg.
The introduction of spin led to West Indies collecting 12 runs, including two fours from Rajeshwari Gayakwad‘s over.
West Indies were 53 for 1 at the halfway mark. Campbelle and Stefanie Taylor (42) steadied the West Indies innings as they slowly but steadily stitched a 73-run partnership. The two shared nine boundaries between them.
However, twin strikes from the ever-reliable Deepti led to a mini batting collapse. The off-spinner first punished Campbelle for going for a reverse sweep with Smriti Mandhana completing a lovely catch at short third.
Three balls later, she trapped Taylor leg before which was initially deemed not out by the umpire but India successfully reviewed the decision and got it changed.
Chinelle Henry (2) was the next to go as Mandhana and Ghosh effected her run out.
India were able to stem the flow of runs but their fielding was found wanting. Deepti dropped Chedean Nation on 3 in the 16th over.
Nation and Shabika Gajnabi (15) took West Indies past the 100-run mark.
Deepti reached the 100-wicket milestone in the last over when she bamboozled Aly Fletcher (0).
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