The Indian women's cricket team led by Harmanpreet Kaur have started their preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup in a commanding fashion by recording an emphatic 56-run win against the Windies in their second league match of the tri-series.
The Women in Blue were bolstered by the return of Harmanpreet to the playing XI after recovering from illness, and the Indian skipper made optimum use of the conducive batting conditions on offer to get some much-needed runs under her belt.
After opting to bat first, India were rattled on the penultimate delivery of the powerplay as Yastika Bhatia was dismissed for 18 runs off 23 deliveries. With Smriti Mandhana going steady at one end, all eyes were on Harleen Deol, who walked in at number three.
However, the right-handed batter failed to grab her opportunity and was adjudged plumb in front of the wicket for 12 runs. With India tottering at 52 for two, Harmanpreet walked in to take centre stage along with her deputy at the other end.
The duo accumulated the ones and the twos before launching a brutal attack on the Windies' bowling unit. En route to their match-winning stand of 115 runs, the duo smashed unbeaten half-centuries to power India to a formidable total of 167 for two in their allotted quota of 20 overs.
While the right-handed batter scored 56* off 35 deliveries studded with eight boundaries, Mandhana smashed a brutal 74 off 51 deliveries with ten fours and one massive six.
For her excellent unbeaten 7️⃣4️⃣*(51) in the first innings, vice-captain @mandhana_smriti bagged the Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia clinched their second win of the Tri-Series with a 56-run victory over West Indies 👏— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) January 24, 2023
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/tNMO0AAnzm#INDvWI pic.twitter.com/Y9QoRSLtdS
In reply, the West Indies run chase never really got going as the Indian spinners weaved their magic and restricted the flow of runs. While Rashada Williams was dismissed early in the powerplay and Britney Cooper too departed for a golden duck, West Indies were in all sorts of trouble in the field restrictions.
Despite some brief resistance from Shemaine Campbelle with a 47 off 57 deliveries and Hayley Matthew's unbeaten 34 off 29 balls, West Indies fell short by 56 runs to succumb to their second defeat in a row.
For the Indian team, Shikha Pandey, who was making her first appearance since October 2021, was economical and conceded only 18 runs in her four overs. Deepti Sharma scalped two wickets along with the seamer, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav scalped a wicket a piece for the Indian side.