Mandhana and Harmanpreet hit centuries and India triumph

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India has started her Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign in New Zealand promisingly, winning two matches out of three. Last night they defeated West Indies women by 155 runs at Wellington.

India amassed 8 for 317 in 50 overs mainly through the batting extravaganza of Smriti Mandhana (123 runs with 13 spectacular fours and two sixes) and Harmanpreet Kaur (109 with 10 equally eye-catching fours and two sixes). They added 184 runs for the fourth wicket.

The Windies started with a bang, their opening batters Deandra Dottin (62 runs with 10 fours and a six) and Hayley Matthews (43 with 6 fours) adding 100 runs. But then Indian bowlers captured vital wickets and the West Indians were bowled out for 162 runs.

Mandhana was named Player of the Match but she sportingly requested that she would prefer to share the award with Harmanpreet.

Mandhana said at the presentation as quoted in CricInfo, “Scoring a century and not being a player of the match is something I wouldn’t want. I think we both contributed equally for us to score 300. It is good to share the trophy. As a batter we prefer both, if the toss does not go your way, in chasing it is very important to get the momentum. Both in chasing and setting, this is very important. Our strengths are really different because she is really good with spin and I like pace on the ball. When the spinner comes on I give her the strike and when the pacers come on she gives me [the strike]. I’m sure the ICC will be giving another trophy, they have enough budget [smiles].”

Harmanpreet Kaur added, “The set batter was there [in the first match], in the last game against New Zealand it was missing. Today Smriti was there. I was getting that rhythm, once we are settled we can get the boundaries as well. The understanding and the lefty-righty combination helped us. I would love to give it [trophy] to her because she scored more than me and she deserves that.”

Skipper Mithali Raj summed up, “Could not have asked anything better than today’s display. Today’s win should keep us in the tournament for the knockouts. Batting and bowling really came out well. It had a lot to do with the couple of games, could see the nerves in the girls. Everyone knew the importance of today’s game. Required a special effort, we knew West Indies came from two wins, we were playing after a big loss.

“It could be both, if the set plan is not working, then you got to be a little more flexible. The way Smriti and Harman played, very sensible and they have used their experience to get us to the score. It’s good to have youngsters around, me and Jhulan have played for a long time. When you have to let your guard down, we need the youngsters to crack a joke – it eases out our nerves, which has helped me in the past. We need to be consistent as the next game is in a different venue and a different opponent, we will be having different plans.”

India’s next match is against England on 16th March.

The other five countries to contest the 2022 Women’s World Cup are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Short URL: