Al-round India beat WI by 105 runs


Thirush Kamini, the left-handed opening batter, scored her maiden One-Day International century, and the first by an Indian at the ICC Women’s World Cup, to guide India to an emphatic 105-run victory over the West Indies in the opening World Cup clash at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on January 31 (Thursday). A 175-run opening stand between Kamini and Poonam Raut was the cornerstone of India’s efforts as it piled up a formidable 284 for six, India’s highest total in the history of the tournament.
Kamini, who made a comeback to the Indian team after a long layoff, proved her mettle as she scored her century off 146 deliveries. Both Kamini and Raut (72) looked in sublime form as India was put in to bat on a pitch that had some grass. The duo built their partnership steadily with quick singles to start with and then with boundaries as the bowling lost some steam. But even as Raut and Kamini laid the platform, the scoring rate wasn’t spectacular, and that’s where Jhulan Goswami (36) and Harmanpreet Kaur (36) came in, raising the run rate with their brisk cameos and taking India past the 250-run mark.
On a turning track, West Indies was forced to use its spinners right from the start but Stafanie Taylor and Anisa Mohammed failed to provide a breakthrough and it fell upon Shanel Daley, the left-arm medium pacer, to break the opening stand when she dismissed Raut in the 36th over.
The West Indies bowlers finally came good in the death overs as Deandra Dottin, the medium pacer, returned figures of 3 for 32, but by then the Indians had taken a stranglehold on the match. In reply, the West Indies posted 179 runs in 44.3 overs, failing to stitch together partnerships as the Indians kept things tight and the bowlers were backed up by some excellent fielding. India got an early breakthrough when Kycia Knight, the left-handed batter, fell to Harmanpreet Kaur’s direct hit to be run out for a duck off the second ball she faced. Three overs and 15 runs later, Amita Sharma, the right-arm medium pacer, struck to dismiss Stafanie Taylor, the profilic run-getter, who was caught behind by Karuna Jain. Dottin was the only bright spot in an otherwise lacklustre West Indian batting show, as her quickfire 39 off 16 deliveries, comprised of four sixes and three boundaries, pushed the Indians on to the back foot, albeit for a very short while. West Indies’ struggle was evident by the fact that its best stand was for the sixth wicket and lasted just 8.3 overs, as Merissa Aguilleira, the West Indies captain, and Shanel Daley, the left-hander, put up 49 runs together. West Indies was 133 for six in 28 overs when Aguilleira fell, and from then on, wickets fell in quick succession. Niranjana Nagarajan and Gouher Sultana backed the Indian batters’ effort as they shared five wickets between them to break the back of the West Indies batting. And Goswami shone with the ball too, as she ended with figures of 2 for 13 from 9.3 overs.