INDIA WOMEN’S TOUR OF WEST INDIES 2019
Deepti Sharma returned figures of 4 for 10 © Getty
Having only recently broken Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record of being the youngest Indian to score an international half-century, the 15-year-old Shafali Verma extended her good run with an unbeaten 69 off only 35 deliveries to help India take a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series against West Indies.
Thanks to Deepti Sharma’s excellent bowling performance (4-10 in four overs), India managed to restrict West Indies to a paltry total of 103/7 at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St. Lucia on Sunday (November 10). Shafali and Smriti Mandhana then powered past West Indies’ total with ease, registering their second successive century partnership for the opening wicket as India won by 10 wickets with 9.3 overs to spare.
Opting to bat, West Indies openers Hayley Matthews and Stacy-Ann King struggled to get going before the latter fell to Shikha Pandey while Radha Yadav had Shemaine Campbelle stumped for a duck. A watchful partnership between Matthews and Chedean Nation ensued, with the former struggling to force the pace before she was eventually dismissed in the 12th over by Pooja Vastrakar for a 35-ball 23.
Just when Natasha McLean and Nation tried to up the ante with regular boundaries leading up to the death overs, Deepti ended their counter-attack by accounting for both in the 17th over and then bagging two more wickets in the final over as West Indies could only manage 22 in the last four overs.
Shafali took little time to get going in the chase, scoring four consecutive fours off Chinelle Henry in the opening over and two boundaries off King in the second to set the tone for the innings. Mandhana managed some boundaries of her own but it was Shafali who overshadowed her senior partner as she registered a 26-ball fifty with a six off Matthews in the eighth over.
Shafali’s half-century was the third fastest for India in Women’s T20Is, with Mandhana’s 24-ball effort against New Zealand in 2019 and her 25-ball fifty against England in 2018 occupying the top two positions. Shafali ended the game with 10 fours and two sixes while Mandhana finished with four boundaries, including the winning four which she hit in the 11th over as India raced to victory.
Brief scores: West Indies 103/7 in 20 overs (Chedean Nation 32, Hayley Matthews 23; Deepti Sharma 4-10) lost to India 104/0 in 10.3 overs (Shafali Verma 69*, Smriti Mandhana 30*) by 10 wickets.
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