WIW-183/8( Matthews 43 ; Fletcher 36 ; Daley 33; Poonam 2/19 ; Deepti 2/27)
INDW- 186/3 ( Mandhana 106* ; Raj 46 ;Taylor 1/24 Connell 1/23)
INDW won by 7 wickets.
Smriti Mandhana, the wonder girl of India, is creating the buzz in the cricketing fraternity. With her 2nd consecutive fifty in the ongoing world cup she has impressed not only the female cricketers but also their men counterparts as well.
Before the start of the match the teams were at different pole. While India defeated the host in their opening match, the West Indian side suffered a humiliating defeat at the hand of defending champion Australia. However, Mithali Raj of India won the toss and invited the West Indian side to bat first.
The decision was turning out to be fruitful as Indian pacers exploited the condition well, until young Heyley Matthews started to play her shots, she is known for. Matthews was really attacking the bowlers, and though she never played the unorthodox shots, she managed to get fours on both the sides. Realizing that her pacers are going for runs, Mithali Raj didn’t hesitate to bring her spinner in the action and the game really turned on from there. In the very first over, Ekta Bisht removed opener Walters (9). Two specialist spinner, leggie Poonam Yadav and left arm spinner Ekta Bisht(1/23) with the help of part time spin trio Deepti, Mona(0/20) and Harmanpreet(2/42) choked the runs in the middle overs and made the life harder for the West Indian batters.
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Eventually in total, spinners delivered 40 over giving away just 133 runs and picked up 7 wickets. Opener Hayley Matthews(43) and skipper Stefanie Taylor(16) tried to put up a partnership but their dreams shattered as Smriti Mandhana’s brilliant fielding effort found Stefanie Taylor well out of her crease. West Indian batters almost had no answers questioned by the Indian spinners and they lost 5 wickets in 12 runs in 14.3 over to found themselves 91/6 in 33.3 overs.
It’s the lower middle and lower order who pushed themselves till the end to reach to their highest total against India in Women world cups. Their previous best was 179 in 2013. At the same time Hayley Mathews became the joint top scorer against India in an innings in WWC. Indian spinners were all supported by Indian keeper Verma, who took one catch and stumped 3 behind the wicket. Though Harmanpreet injured herself, as her left ring finger got dislocated, trying to save a boundary while fielding at mid-on, she came back strong in the field and picked up two wickets.
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Chasing a modest total of 184, India didn’t start off well. Unlike their previous match, Punam Raut got out cheaply (0) followed by Deepti Sharma (6). Leaving India 33/2 , the match was evenly poised. Then the skipper herself and Smriti guided the Indian innings with ease. Suffering from knee-injury Smriti continued to play with dominance and didn’t allow any bowler to get on top. As Smriti completed her half-century, Mithali missed her 8th back to back half century as she got out on 46 on the bowling of Matthews. Their partnership turned the tide in the favour of India. At that moment India could smell the victory. And with Mona Meshram, Smriti Mandhana completed her second ODI century, becoming the youngest Indian player to make a century in World cup and sealed the victory for India.
Her innings of unbeaten 106 of 108 deliveries comprised of 13 fours and 2 sixes. West Indian skipper used 8 bowlers but only Matthews And Skipper herself left an impact on the Indian batting line-up. Finally India won comfortably by 7 wickets and placed themselves at the top of point table. Another dismal day ended for WI as they first failed to imply themselves in batting and despite the early breakthrough, they released the pressure from the Indian batting and Mandhana took the game away from them.
Mandhana was judged Player of the match for the 2nd time in the tournament for her brilliant knock .