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ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022: Centurions Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur help India beat West Indies

Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami became the highest wicket-taker in Women’s World Cup history with 40 scalps to her name.

The Indian women’s cricket team beat West Indies by 155 runs at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday.

Spectacular tons from Player of the Match Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur helped India reach 317/8 – their highest total in the Women’s World Cup – while the bowlers restricted West Indies to 162 all-out in 40.3 overs.

With two wins in three matches, India climbed to the top of the points table with four points and a net run-rate of 1.081.

Mithali Raj, who now holds the record for captaining in most matches – 24 – in the Women’s Cricket World Cup, won the toss and chose to bat.

India were off to a flyer, with the young Yastika Bhatia taking on the West Indies bowlers from the very first over.

Yastika, along with her opening partner Smriti Mandhana, took full advantage of the powerplay session and India were cruising with a run rate of over 7 before the Caribbean side halted the assault.

India lost Yastika Bhatia and captain Mithali Raj for just eight runs and three overs later, Deepti Sharma also departed, leaving the Women in Blue in a difficult position at 78/3 in 14 overs.

However, it was all India from there on.

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur paced their innings brilliantly to build a solid partnership. The two rotated the strike well as West Indies struggled to cope with the right hand-left hand batting combination.

The experienced duo targeted the pacers but were cautious against the spinners and slowly tilted the match back into India’s favour.

Smriti Mandhana opted for a more aggressive approach, hitting 13 fours and two sixes, to reach her fifth ODI century in 108 balls. She now has two hundreds in two World Cup matches against the West Indies.

The Smriti-Harmanpreet pair stitched a record 184-run stand, the highest fourth wicket partnership in the Women’s World Cup, before Smriti’s flying innings ended at 123 off 119.

Harmanpreet Kaur then switched gears and reached her century as well to take India past the 300-run mark in just over 47 overs.

Although Harmanpreet was dismissed for 109, India managed to put up a big total of 317/8 on the scoreboard.

In reply, West Indies also made a brisk start to the chase, with openers Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews pulling no punches in the powerplay. The Caribbean women hit five boundaries in a Jhulan Goswami over and raced to 81 in 10 overs without losing a single wicket.

Deandra Dotting, despite struggling with a back niggle, scored a remarkable 62 off 46, packed with 10 fours and a six, before off-spinner Sneh Rana provided a much-needed breakthrough for India.

Meghna Singh then dismissed Kycia Knight and captain Stefanie Taylor to put the pressure back on the Women in Maroon.

With the pitch providing plenty of turn, India Women took three more wickets as West Indies were down to 134/6 in 23.2 overs.

Veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami joined the party and sent back Anisa Mohammed to the pavilion, claiming her 40th victim at the World Cups. The wicket made Jhulan Goswami the highest wicket-taker in women’s World Cup history, surpassing Australia’s Lyn Fullston.

The West Indies lower order provided some resistance, but Mithali Raj and Co. were able to bundle them out for 162.

India will be up against England on Wednesday.

India vs West Indies, Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, brief scores: India 317/8 (Smriti Mandhana 123, Harmanpreet Kaur 109; Anisa Mohammed 2/59) beat West Indies 2094723/352 (Deandra Dottin 62, Hayley Matthews 43; Sneh Rana 3/22) by 155 runs.

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