India will enter the ICC Women’s World Cup with their tails up after opener Smriti Mandhana’s 67-ball 66 and the bowlers’ disciplined show powered them to an 81-run win over West Indies in their final warm-up game here on Tuesday.
Kept under observation after taking a blow to her head during the team’s first practice match against South Africa on Sunday, the elegant Mandhana was in her element within two days from the injury, laying the foundation for India’s challenging total of 258 all out in the allotted 50 overs.
In reply, West Indies were stopped at 177 for nine at Rangiora Oval.
India, who will face arch-rivals Pakistan in their campaign opener on Sunday, beat South Africa by two runs in their first warm-up game.
Opting to bat, 2017 edition finalists India were off to a poor start as Shafali Verma was bowled by Chinelle Henry for a duck.
Deepti Sharma joined Mandhana in the middle and the two went about rebuilding the innings with a partnership that was broken after the two experienced campaigners had added 117 runs for the second wicket while maintaining a scoring rate of almost six.
The in-from Mandhana compiled her 66 runs in 67 balls, hitting seven fours in the process before being dismissed by Cherry-Ann Fraser off her own bowling.
Mandhana’s fine effort came barely two days after she was diagnosed with a mild soft tissue injury to her left earlobe which caused discomfort while batting against the South Africans, forcing her to leave the field retired hurt.
Deepti made 51 off 64 balls, accumulating most of her runs in singles and two. She hit just one boundary during her stay in the middle.
When Deepti was sent back by Fraser, India were 142 for three in the 27th over.
Skipper Mithali Raj contributed 30 off 42 balls with the help of four boundaries, while Yastika Bhatia chipped in with an useful 42 in 53 deliveries. Bhatia found the fence five times.
West Indies’ innings got off to a disastrous start as they lost four wickets with only 53 runs on the board, including captain Stefanie Taylor for just 8 runs.
Wicketkeeper Shemaine Campbelle top-scored for the Windies with a 63 off 81 balls, while Hayley Matthews made 44 in 61 deliveries.
However, the others failed to make substantial contributions as the West Indies fell short by a big margin.
Pooja Vastrakar was the most successful Indian bowler, returning figures of 3/21 in seven overs, while there were two wickets apiece for Meghna Singh and Deepti, who ended the game with a fine all-round show.
The veteran Jhulan Goswami (0/14 in 8 overs), too, bowled exceptionally well, though she could not figure in the wicket’s column.
India Women: 258 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 66, Deepti Sharma 51)
West Indies Women: 177/9 in 50 overs (Shemaine Campbelle 63, Hayley Matthews 44; Pooja Vastrakar 3/21).
Get all the latest updates on Cricket News, Cricket Photos, Cricket Videos, IPL Auction 2022 and Cricket Scores here(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)