By Brandon Corlette
West Indies Women had their last taste of victory against India Women in T20 Internationals since November 2016. While the West Indies team are seeking a consolation win, India Women are looking to register a T20 series whitewash.
The two teams will lock horns today, Wednesday, November 20 from 18:00h at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence in the fifth and final T20I.
After suffering a lone defeat in the One-Day Internationals (ODI) series, India Women have been clinical in the first two T20s in St Lucia and the recent matches played at Providence. The latest victory for India was a thrilling five-run win in a truncated match which produced nine overs per team. Runs have been scarce this series, but 15-year-old Indian batting sensation Shafali Verma has produced 149 runs in the four innings.
The right-hander has two half-centuries under her belt and a stunning strike rate of 163.7, averaging an impressive 49.6. Despite being rested in the fourth T20I, Smriti Mandhana has exactly 100 runs heading into today’s final encounter. The biggest failure this series has been the batting from the West Indies Women. Chedean Nation, who scored 32 in one match, has 56 runs in four innings, which is the most by a Caribbean batter.
Hayley Matthews, fresh from a Player-of-the-Match performance in the fourth T20I, has 52 runs in four innings, with the bat. As with all the other batters, Matthews will be aiming to finish the series with some runs. Windies Women Vice Captain, Guyanese Shemaine Campbelle has 40 runs in four innings, including a best of 33 in the ongoing series.
Spin has been the weapon of destruction in the series. Deepti Sharma leads the bowling chart with eight wickets, including the best figures in the series of 4-10. Her spin compatriot, Radha Yadav has been effective with six wickets in her four outings. West Indies off-spinning all-rounder, Matthews has five scalps while Afy Fletcher and Sheneta Grimmond have three and two wickets respectively.
This series was seen as the yardstick for the West Indies Women to select the best set of players for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World T20 that will be played in Australia in February 2020. With the series done and dusted, newbie in the squad, Cherry-Ann Fraser may get to play her maiden match.
Fraser, a Guyanese fast-bowling all-rounder, has come through the ranks having a fruitful season for Guyana’s Under-19 and a decent tournament for the senior Guyana female team. With unpredictable weather ongoing in Guyana, the toss will be an important factor as teams look to sign off the series with a win.
West Indies Women: Anisa Mohammed (Captain); Shemaine Campbell; Cherry-Ann Fraser; Aaliyah Alleyne, Afy Fletcher; Shakera Selman; Hayley Matthews; Chedean Nation; Chinelle Henry; Stacy-Ann King; Kyshona Knight; Natasha McLean; Shabika Gajnabi and Sheneta Grimmond.
India Women: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain); Smriti Mandhana; Jemimah Rodrigues; Shafali Verma; Harleen Deol; Deepti Sharma; Punam Yadav; Radha Yadav; Veda Krishnamurthy; Anjua Patil; Shika Pandey; Pooja Vastrakar; Mansi Joshi; Arundhati Reddy and Taniya Bhatia.