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Women's World Cup: Mandhana's century helps India crush WI

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 29, 2017 22:17 IST
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Smriti Mandhana
IMAGE: Smriti Mandhana celebrates after completing her century. Photograph: Stu Forster/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 ICC Women's ODI World Cup, in Taunton, on Thursday.

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.

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 the 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.

Smriti Mandhana
IMAGE: Smriti Mandhana hits a boundary through the off-side. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

But young Mandhana did not let the second chance go abegging, hitting some delightful strokes all-round the park.

When Shanilia Connell dug one short, she rocked to the backfoot pulling it over midwicket. She repeatedly found the gaps on the off-side and also hit some glorious shots on the leg side.

India could have been in a spot of bother at 33 for two but with a seasoned campaigner like Mithali at the other end, 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 and it came off only 105 balls.

Smriti Mandhana
IMAGE: Smriti Mandhana plays the pull shot. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Fittingly, she finished the match with her 13th boundary to get a deserving second Player of the Match award.

"I was quite nervous after 90 but my partner Mona told me not to play a rash shot. This knock is special because we were chasing and my first hundred came in a losing cause (against Australia). Also this comes in a World Cup game," Mandhana said after the match.

Skipper Mithali was also pleased with Mandhana's effort as well as effort from the spinners.

"Very pleased with the way the girls responded with crucial runouts even though there were couple of lapses in the field (dropped catches). A very good knock from Mandhana. I was hoping the seamers would utilise the conditions after we chose to bowl. But maybe it wasn't their day and the spinners did exceptionally well to bring us back," the Indian skipper said


IMAGE: India's players celebrate a wicket. Photograph courtesy: ICC/Instagram

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 (0/37 in 6 overs) went for runs as she was punished by Mathews, who hit seven boundaries during her 57- ball knock.

However, between the 20th and 35th over, the 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, who was helped with some disciplined bowling by Deepti and Ekta.

Harmanpreet went for some runs but got crucial breakthroughs to keep the Windies in check.

If West Indies managed to cross 180, it was due to Fletcher and her 37-run stand with Anisa Mohammed (11).

Brief scores:

West Indies: 183-8 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 43, Poonam Yadav 2-19, Deepti Sharma 2-27, Harmanpreet Kaur 2-42).

India: 186-3 in 42.3 overs (Smriti Mandhana 106 not out, Mithali Raj 46).

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