By Zaheer Mohamed
Half centuries by Veda Krishnamurty and Jemimah Rodrigues along with some steady bowling handed India Women a 61-run victory against the West Indies Women in the final T20 International last night at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. The win gave the visitors a clean sweep of the five-match series.
India Women opted to take first strike and Shafali Verma struck Anisa Mohammed for a maximum before she was caught and bowled by Hayley Matthews for nine, while Mohammed had Smriti Mandhana caught by Matthews for seven after the opener struck her for four in the said over as India Women lost both openers with the score on 17.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Veda Krishnamurthy steadied the innings nicely with sensible batting. The Right-handed Rodrigues pulled Afy Fletcher to the mid-wicket boundary and drove her down the ground for a couple before picking up another boundary at fine leg with an inside edge, while Krishnamurty pulled Fletcher to mid-wicket for another boundary as the pair continued to gather runs on both sides of the pitch. Despite Krishnamurty being put down when on 36, the duo continued to time the ball well and brought up their team’s hundred in 16.4 overs.
Rodrigues struck Shabika Gajnabi to mid-off for four before Krishnamurty brought up her fifty with a boundary to long leg in the said over; her half century contained four fours and came off 43 balls. Rodrigues soon reached her fifty with a single to fine leg, but just after reaching the milestone she played across a full-length delivery and was bowled by Aaliyah Alleyne off the penultimate ball of the innings without adding to her score. She faced 56 balls and hit three fours. Krishnamurty, whose third-wicket stand with Rodrigues worth 117, remained unbeaten on 57 which came off 47 balls and included four fours as India Women finished on 134-3. Matthews had 1-23, Alleyne 1-23 and Mohammed 1-26.
Opener Natasha McLean dispatched Mansi Joshi ferociously over mid-wicket for six before she was removed by Anusha Patil for nine, while Chedean Nation was lbw to Patil without scoring as West Indies Women were reduced to 13-2 in four overs. Kyshona Knight and Chinelle Henry struggled to get the ball off the square as they could only manage 15 in 5.1 overs before Henry was caught at the wicket off Poonam Yadav for six, shortly after Matthews was bowled by Pooja Vastrakar for two, leaving the score on 31-4 in the 11th over.
Knight and Shemaine Campbell, who pulled Vastrakar to the mid-wicket boundary, added 22 for the fifth-wicket before Knight was removed by Harleen Deol for 22 after facing 39 balls and hit two fours.
Sheneta Grimmond was stumped off Yadav for five as the home team lost their sixth wicket in the 17th over with the score on 63, while Gajnabi (03) was run out after she failed to beat a direct hit from Yadav, fielding to her own bowling.
Campbell looked the best of the West Indies Women batters as she rotated the strike well; she finished on 19 not out off 23 balls, while Alleyne made one not out as West Indies Women finished on 73-7, in another disappointing batting display, which could have been better had they placed more emphasis in rotating the strike in the early stages of the innings. Patil was the pick of the bowlers with 2-3 from three overs. Krishnamurty was named player-of-the-match, while Shafali Verma was voted player-of-the-series.
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