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Shafali Verma, 15, smashed a scintillating 73 runs, which included 6 fours and 4 sixes in company of fellow opener Smriti Mandhana (67) as India Women put on a massive 143-run opening stand in the first of the five T20Is against West Indies Women.
Shikha Pandey (2/22), spin duo of Radha Yadav (2/10) and Poonam Yadav (2/24) claimed two wickets each, while both Deepti Sharma (1/15) and Pooja Vastrakar (1/21) accounted for one wicket as the home team was restricted to just 101/9 in reply to India’s power-packed 185/4.
The all-round show helped India notch up a big 84-run win and a 1-0 lead in the series.
The West Indies Women had some bad news before the start of play as captain Stafanie Taylor was ruled out of the first match with a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain. Series vice-captain Anisa Mohammed stood in as captain for the match.
The home team struggled against the timely strokes by the Indian opening pair. Shakera Selman who returned to the team after an injury layoff, scalped the wicket of Verma, caught by Kyshona Knight. Mandhana soon followed caught of Mohammed for 67. At 15 years and 285 days, Shafali became the youngest Indian cricketer ever to score an international half-century.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur finished not out on 21. The West Indies bowlers did however reign in the fast scoring that the Indians started their innings with. Shakera Selman finished with 2/35 while Anisa Mohammed had 2/36.
The West Indies women’s batting never got the start they needed. Natasha McLean fell for 0 offering an easy running catch to Harmanpreet. Hayley Matthews looked set to build the innings as she smashed three quick boundaries, racing to 13 from 8 deliveries but was bowled as the runs started flowing. Miscommunication between Stacy-Ann King and Campbelle resulted in Campbelle being runout for a hard-fought 33 just when she looked set to take the West Indies women on her shoulders to victory.
Brief scores: India Women 185/4 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 73, Smriti Mandhana 67; Anisa Mohammed 2/35, Shakera Selman 2/36) beat West Indies Women 101/9 in 20 overs (Shermaine Campbelle 33; Radha Yadav 2/10, Shikha Pandey 2/22) by 84 runs