West Indies wilted under the pressure of scintillating centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, when they slumped to their first defeat of the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday.
Asked to chase a mammoth 318 made by India Women at Seddon Park, after Mandhana smacked 123 and Kaur stroked 109, West Indies collapsed to 162 all out in the 41st over, to go down by 155 runs.
Deandra Dottin defied back pain throughout her innings to top-score with an aggressive 62 off 46 deliveries while opening partner Hayley Matthews hit a stylish 43 from 36 balls.
Together, the pair fired West Indies to 100 without loss in the 13th over but once the stand was broken, the last nine wickets tumbled for just 54 runs with off-spinner Sneh Rana claiming three for 22 and seamer Meghna Singh (2-27).
The defeat came on the heels of dramatic wins in their opening matches against hosts New Zealand and reigning world champions, England, but captain Stafanie Taylor said her side would not be dented by the result.
It happens in any game. You have one of those days – you have one of those bad days. You brush it off and move on to the next one,” she told media afterwards.
“We have no time to sit down and cry about this game. We have a big game coming up against Australia. I think what we can take from this some learning and hopefully whatever we could take from this going into that game to help us.”
Opting to bat first, India were given a healthy start as Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia, who struck 31 off 21 balls with half-dozen fours, put on 49 for the first wicket.
Once Bhatia got a leading edge back to seamer Shakera Selman in the seventh over, India lost three wickets for 29 runs but Kaur arrived to partner Mandhana and take the momentum away from West Indies.
Left-hander Mandhana faced 119 balls and struck 13 fours and a couple of sixes while Kaur, a right-hander, punched 10 fours and two sixes off 107 deliveries, the duo putting on 184 for the fourth wicket.
India were staring at a much larger total at that stage but lost their last five wickets for 53 runs as they tried to accelerate even further at the death.
In reply, Dottin slammed 10 fours and a six in notching her 22nd One-Day International half-century of a stellar career, the landmark coming from 35 balls in the 10th over, while Matthews counted half-dozen fours in a 36-ball cameo.
At the height of the partnership, West Indies were galloping along at eight runs per over, putting pressure on India’s bowlers and increasingly raising hopes of a successful run chase.
The breakthrough came when Dottin top-edged a slog sweep at Rana and was taken by Meghna Singh running around from short fine leg, and suddenly the floodgates suddenly opened.
Kycia Knight holed out in the deep in the 16th over off Meghna Singh, Taylor nicked behind for one in the bowler’s next over before Matthews finally followed in the 19th over, edging a cut behind off Rana.
Her dismissal proved the end of the resistance as West Indies struggled to mount a partnership of any merit thereafter.