Deepti Sharma starred with figures of 3 for 11 to restrict West Indies to 94 which the batters overcame rather comfortably in the Tri-Series round-robin match in East London on Monday.
Sharma conceded only three scoring shots in her four-over spell, picking up two wickets in the first over she bowled off back-to-back deliveries.
Chasing 95 for the win, India got there in the 14th over with eight wickets to spare, with Jemimah Rodrigues getting some useful game-time opening the batting and remaining unbeaten on 42.
Opting to bowl first, India fielded three pacers in the lineup. The returning Shikha Pandey was joined by fit-again Renuka Singh Thakur and Pooja Vastrakar. While Pandey and Thakur started off well, it was Sharma who struck first in the fourth over, producing two classic off-spinner dismissals. Rashada Williams and Shemaine Campbelle failed to read the flight and turn.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who gave away just 9 runs in her spell (1/9), and Pooja Vastrakar (2/19) were the other wicket-takers. Captain Hayley Matthews offered the sole resistance for West Indies, scoring 34 before Vastrakar took her wicket.
The chase got off to a shaky start with Smriti Mandhana bowled by Shamilia Connell in the second over. But Harleen Deol joined Rodrigues to see out the powerplay. It was then captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s turn to keep the scoreboard ticking as she scored an elegant 32 off 23 while Rodrigues was her usual busy self.
Kaur reserved special appreciation for Rodrigues returning to form while adding that the bowlers could have possibly done a bit better at the back-end.
“I think we bowled well but still I feel we could have done better than this. Amount of bowling we have we were looking to restrict them to under 80 but anyway we will take it in a positive way,” Kaur said after the match.
“I think it’s a great positive when you have too many options and you have to keep thinking about what is your best eleven and the next game will be a great opportunity for us to try the final eleven. The way Jemimah played was very impressive and I am happy that I could score too.”
Sharma was named player of the match.
India and South Africa had already qualified for the final to be played on Thursday.
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