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Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh shine as India beat West Indies by 6 wickets




Deepti Sharma shone with the ball before Richa Ghosh-led India registered a six-wicket win over West Indies in their Group 2 match of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Cape Town on Wednesday. Deepti restricted the West Indies batsmen to 118 for six after being asked to bowl. The veteran off-spinner (3/15) took three wickets to become the first Indian to take 100 WT20I wickets.

Ghosh (44 not out) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (33) then put on a crucial 72-run partnership to hand India their second win of the tournament with 11 balls to spare.

Needing less than a ball, India got off to a flying start with openers Shafali Verma (28) and Smriti Madhana (10) hitting six fours to take their team’s total to 31 in four overs.

But India lost momentum as slow bowling did the trick for West Indies.

Mandhana completely missed the ball off-spinner Karishma Ramharak (2/14), resulting in a simple stumping for wicketkeeper Rasha Williams.

Match-winner of the last game Jemimah Rodrigues (1) Hayley Matthews (1/12) became the first and only victim of the day as the skipper took a brilliant catch off her own bowling.

After two low-scoring overs, Shafali tried only to be caught at long leg and the West Indies took three wickets in quick succession.

Harmanpreet took time to settle before hitting Effie Fletcher (0/24) for back-to-back fours in the ninth over. The India captain played his innings in 42 balls with the help of three fours.

Ghosh did what she does best – finish the game.

The youngster hit five fours including one to finish the match in his unbeaten 32-ball innings. He reduced India’s score to 119 for 4 in 18.1 overs. Earlier, opening with the new ball, Pooja Vastrakar (1/21) struck with her first ball to dismiss the dangerous Hayley Mathews (2) to give India an early breakthrough.

The West Indies captain was done with extra bounce as Richa Ghosh completed a routine catch.

Pooja continued to put pressure on the West Indies by taking maiden wickets. Shemaine Campbell (30) hit a Renuka Singh (1/22) delivery over square leg for West Indies’ first boundary in the third over.

The introduction of spin saw the West Indies collect 12 runs from Rajeshwari Gaikwad’s over including two fours.

At the halfway mark, West Indies were 53 for one. Campbell and Stafanie Taylor (42) propelled the West Indies innings and put on a slow but steady 73-run partnership. Both shared nine boundaries between themselves.

However, the twin attacks of the ever-reliable Deepti led to Mini’s batting collapse. The off-spinner first punished Campbell with a reverse sweep and Smriti Mandhana completed a lovely catch at short third.

Three balls later, he trapped Taylor leg before, initially giving the umpire not out, but India successfully reviewed the decision and overturned it.

Chinelle Henry (2) was about to go as Mandhana was run out by Ghosh.

India were able to stem the flow of runs but their fielding was found lacking. Deepti dropped Chadian Nation for 3 runs in the 16th over.

Nation and Shabika Gajanabi (15) took West Indies past 100 runs.

Deepti completed 100 wickets by dismissing Eli Fletcher (0) in the last over.

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