Story and Photos by Brandon Corlette
A disappointing series concluded yesterday when India Women in clinical fashion registered a 61 run win to clinch the T20I series 5-0 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. Batting first, India scored 134-3 while West Indies were restricted to 73-7 in a clueless chase.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, India lost both openers with only 17 runs on the board. India lost the aggressive 15-year-old Shafali Verma for nine runs, including one sweet six; Hayley Matthews took a sharp return catch to remove Verma, followed by stand-in Captain Smriti Mandhana who scored seven, holing out to long-off from an Anisa Mohammed delivery.
Jemimah Rodrigues was partnered by Veda Krishnamurthy, but the lights were out after 3.1 overs, with the score on 17. This power outage was the second of the series as the handful of spectators only in the Red Stand waited in disappointment. Power resumed after a 20-minute break with Rodrigues and Krishnamurthy playing the ball on its merit, capitalising on the ordinary fielding by the West Indies.
The duo saw India surpass the 100-run mark in the 17th over; Krishnamurthy reached her maiden T20I fifty from 43 balls in the penultimate over. In that same over, the duo reached the 100-run partnership batting India into a strong position. Rodrigues reached her hard-working fifty from 55 balls, but soon after she fell, attempting a sweep shot off Aaliyah Alleyne; her stumps were destroyed with the score on 134-3 in the final over.
That 117-run partnership put India in a firm position while Krishnamurthy ended unbeaten on 57 from 48 balls, including four boundaries. Matthews ended with 1-23 in four overs, Mohammed had 1-26 in her four while Alleyne snatched 1-23 in her quota.
Chasing 135 to win, a new-look West Indies opening pair trotted out to bat in the persons of Natasha McLean and Kyshona Knight. McLean got things underway with a huge six into the scoreboard, pulling right-arm seamer Mansi Joshi. Failing to rotate the strike, McLean holed out to the mid-wicket boundary, heading back to the pavilion for nine. Chedean Nation, who entered this match with 56 runs, more than any West Indies batter, was dismissed for a first-ball duck.
Nation played a wild swipe to a full straight ball with the score on 13-2 at the end of four overs. At the end of the power play, West Indies were struggling at 18-2, with Chinelle Henry surprisingly partnering Knight. In the 10th over, West Indies lacked intent and lost Henry for a 14-ball six when she was caught behind. At the half-way stage in a chase that never got underway, West Indies were reeling at 29-3.
Matthews, batting at number five, partnered Knight but her stay was a short one. She was bowled all ends up by Pooja Vastrakar for two at 31-4. Knight’s painstaking knock of 22 came from 39 balls hitting two fours. She became the fifth wicket with the score on 53-5 at the end of over number 14; 10 runs later, Guyana’s Sheneta Grimmond ran past one and was stumped for five with the score on 63-6. Shabika Gajnabi was then run out for three as the batters continued to fall like dominoes.
Shemaine Campbelle stayed until the end with an unbeaten 19 from 23 balls, but West Indies fell miles short of the target, ending on 73-7 in 20 overs. Anuja Patil ended with 2-3 in yet another dominant display by the Indian bowlers.