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We had to modify the target: Veda Krishnamurthy

The batter talks about scripting win in 3rd ODI

With a well-compiled 71 off 79 balls, Veda Krishnamurthy shaped India’s innings and set up the game in the favor of the hosts in the last ODI against West Indies. She was involved in two crucial stands that helped set the opposition a stiff target which the hosts defended to win the series 3-0.

While she partnered with Harmanpreet Kaur, she guided debutant Devika Vaidya as they built a stand to set the target. Speaking about her innings, she said, “When you bat at No 5 or 6, it is very tricky, especially when you are batting first. You don’t know what a good total will be. Since we had chased in the first two games, we knew that 150 would be chased down within 40 overs so, we needed something around 200 runs on the board. But that was not the initial target when we went in with.”

Elaborating on the partnerships after coming in to bat at 52 for three, she said, “Harman and I were trying to play out the situation get into the game. With Devika, I have seen her bat before and she is. She bats in the top-order for Maharashtra so I knew that she just has to stay with me and runs will keep coming. 

Speaking about the situation when the debutant came in to bat at 103 for four, she said, “When Devika came into bat, for the first two overs I was actually planning what to do. But after the first inside out shot she played I felt, ‘okay, she is here to play.’. That way she gave me confidence because I was a little worried about where it was going to head. She played really well and positive cricket at that point and it boosted my confidence.

“We had a target of 180 when we were around 100 odd runs. As we progressed we changed the target around 42nd - 43rd over to 200. That is when we started getting more runs. Devika had settled in and I didn’t want to put pressure on her. I just wanted to give her confidence so that she stays with me because that partnership was crucial for us to set a target. She understood the situation well.”

After pulling off a thrilling win to sweep the ODI series, India will now take on the WI in a three-match T20 series under Harmanpreet. “Switching from ODI to T20 is easier than other way around. Most of the batters are in good touch and our bowlers always do well. And we have six new players coming in and they will bring in freshness to the side,” she observed. 

Asked about playing under Harmanpreet, she said, “I have played under her in the Challenger trophy. We are good friends off the field so, feels really good. I want to congratulate her and wish her good luck for the T20 series because it is the first big series she will be captaining. I hope she comes out to bat and gets more hits and success.” 

Discussing the difference in captaincy, she said, “Captaincy is very different. When it comes to Mithali, everybody looks up to her, there is a lot of respect as she is the senior most player. She has been a role model for almost everyone in the team. Harman she is very aggressive, very enthusiastic. Mithali is very calm.”

Prajakta Pawar

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Consistent India inflict 3-0 whitewash

Veda Krishnamurthy and Rajeshwari Gayakwad star in India’s 3-0 victory over West Indies women

After two comprehensive wins over West Indies in the first two games, India defended 199 runs in the last game to post a thrilling win in Vijayawada and claim the three-match series 3-0.

Veda Krishnamurthy set up the game for India with a sparkling 79-ball 71 after the hosts were asked to bat by Stafanie Taylor. While she took on the opposition, debutant Devika Vaidya ably supported her with a well-compiled knock. The 19-year old was unbeaten on 32 off 45 balls as she helped India to 199 for six. Kycia Knight then made a match of it with a patiently compiled 55 off 94 balls. However, Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s double blow late in the innings tipped the balance back in India’s favour and helped bowl WI out for 184. 

Earlier, batting first for the first time in the series, India lost opener Smriti Mandhana in the second over and were reduced to six for one by Deandra Dottin. Mithali Raj, then joined Deepti Sharma in taking the innings forward, however after the pair had added 30 runs to the total, the in-form captain was sent back by Chedean Nation. 

With Harmanpreet Kaur, Sharma then looked to lay a foundation for a solid total. The opener hit Anisa Mohammed through mid-on. The pair were quick between the wickets as they took the team to 52 before Sharma’s pull was caught by Afy Fletcher.

Krishnamurthy then joined forces with Harmanpreet to help rebuild the innings. The middle-order bat who, has been in good nick, struck back-to-back boundaries off Fletcher through third man and over point as she looked to up the run rate. Running hard between the wickets, the pair kept the scoreboard moving as they looked to seize the momentum. As she carried the innings forward, she also hit Hayley Matthews for successive boundaries to third-man. However, the partnership was ended for 51 by Taylor, who trapped Harmanpreet lbw. 

Vaidya who then came to the crease bided her time in the middle as she slipped into the supporting role for the inform senior batswoman.
While Veda continued to milk the opposition, Vaidya made sure that she rotated the strike and ran hard between the wickets to keep the momentum in India’s favour. With a boundary to square-leg Krishnamurthy brought up her half-century. The fifth-wicket partnership was worth 50 when Nation dislodged the No 5 bat’s bails to leave India on 160 for five in the 45th over. 

Jhulan Goswami, who then took guard, hit the first six of the innings. The tall cricketer lofted Shakera Selman over midwicket. However, later in the over, she was bowled by the bowler for 16 (off 18 balls). Vaidya then took the onus of scoring off the WI attack. With Sushma Verma, she helped add 10 runs off the last seven balls. 

Replacing MD Thirushkamini in the side, Vaidya came in to bat at No 6 and played the role of an anchor to perfection. She was unbeaten on 32 off 45 balls as she helped India set the visitors a competitive target. 

Defending a solid score, debutant Sukanya Parida opened the bowling with Goswami. Replacing Shikha Pandey in the side, the youngster began her international career with a maiden. 

Matthews and Shaquana Quintyne, however steadily worked to set up the chase as the Indian bowlers bent their backs in an effort for a breakthrough. The openers had watchfully put together 49 runs until Sharma trapped Quintyne lbw in the 14th over the game to give India their firs wicket. 20 runs later, Gayakwad accounted for Matthews (44 off 53) to leave WI on 69 for two. 

Knight continued to hold fort, and with Taylor plodded on to keep the innings in the reckoning. Back into the attack for her second spell, Goswami tested the batters but the West Indies held on patiently to keep themselves in the chase. As the partnership began to take shape, Harmanpreet gave India a much-needed breakthrough wicket the wicket of the WI captain in her second over to leave WI on 96 for three.

Dottin, who then joined Knight in the chase launched Harmanpreet over covers for a six as they looked to carry the innings forward. It was Vaidya who then ended the stand with the crucial wicket of the hard-hitting middle-order bat. Caught at point by Goswami, Dottin’s departure left the WI on 120 for four. 

Merissa Aguilleira, who has been the vital cog in the WI line-up then joined Knight in the middle with 80 runs required off 15 overs. The pair played sensibly to keep the match hanging in balance. While she anchored the innings, Knight picked the odd boundary as well as. She lofted Gayakwad for a boundary as she looked to up the ante. 

Aguilleira, too found the fence with ease as she helped her team approach the target. The match headed to a close finish as the WI needed 35 off 36 balls. While Knight completed her fifty, Aguilleira was run out off the next ball while looking to squeeze in a single. And seven runs later, Gayakwad dealt a crucial blow by disrupting Knight’s woodwork for 55. She then followed up with the wicket of Britney Cooper to leave WI on 174 for seven in the 47th over. 

The visitors needed 21 off 12 balls when Gayakwad came out to bowl her last over. While Fletcher was run out, the spinner rattled Anisa’s stumps to bring India within a wicket of victory. In the last over, Harmanpreet ran out Nation to seal victory for the home side. 

Prajakta Pawar

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