Brief scores: Windies 183/8 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 43, Afy Fletcher 36*; Poonam Yadav 2-19, Deepti Sharma 2-27) lost to India 186/3 in 42.3 overs (Smriti Mandhana 106*, Mithali Raj 46; Stafanie Taylor 1-24) by seven wickets.
Smriti Mandhana fell marginally short of a century on World Cup debut but made amends with a fine unbeaten 106 to script India’s seven-wicket win over Windies in Taunton on Thursday (June 29). Continuing a dream return to the international fold, the opener combined with skipper Mithali Raj for a 103-run third-wicket stand, enroute her second ODI hundred that laid the platform for India’s comfortable win.
Shamilia Connell dealt an early blow as Punam Raut fell off the fifth ball of the chase, trying to pull a short one. Promoted to one-down, Deepti Sharma didn’t look at the top of things from the word go and paid the price with her wicket shortly afterwards. Having consumed too many dots, the left-hander tried to take on Stafanie Taylor but failed to connect and the ball pegged back her middle stump.
Despite the setbackat the other end, Mandhana carried on with flair to negate any advantage Windies might have extracted early on. She particularly went after Connell in the powerplay, picking up three boundaries and six to set the tone. Raj took her time to settle in after the wicket-maiden from her counterpart Taylor but for the 26 overs that the duo batted together, Windies were pushed to the backfoot.