ICC Women’s World Cup
Agencies, Mumbai Riding on opener Thirush Kamini Murugesan’s maiden century, India thrashed West Indies by 105-runs in their opening Group A match of the ICC Women’s World Cup at Brabourne Stadium here today.
Kamini, who scored 100 off 146 balls, became the first Indian eve to notch up a ton in 50-over World Cup as the hosts piled up a commendable 284 for six after being sent into bat. In reply, the Caribbean side was bundled out for a paltry 179 runs with 5.3 overs to spare courtesy some tight bowling from Nagarajan Niranjana (3/52), Jhulan Goswami (2/13) and left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana (2/38). The West Indian run chase never really got off as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Opener Kycia Knight, one of the twin sisters in the team, was dismissed in the second ball of the innings after she was run out by a direct hit from Indian vice captain Harmanpreet Kaur. Medium pacer Amita Sharma, then sent back the other opener Stafanie Taylor in the first ball of the sixth over after she edged one to wicket-keeper Karuna Jain. Niranjana then castled the timbers of Shemaine Campbelle with an in-swinger to reduce the West Indies to 38 for three. Deandra Dottin, who starred with the ball earlier in the innings with three scalps, then took the attack to the opposition with a 16-ball 39-run blitzkrieg which was studded with four sixes and three fours.
The 21-year old West Indian clobbered Niranjana for two sixes and a four in the 19th over before the pacer took her revenge by trapping Dottin plumb in front of the wicket in the same over. Kyshona Knight (11) was then bowled by Sultana in the next over as West Indies lost half the side back with just 84 runs on the board. West Indies skipper Merissa Aguilleira shared a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Shanel Daley before she was caught at covers by Indian skipper Mithali Raj off Nilanjana. From there on, victory was just a formality for India and Goswami ensured a quick end to the match by picking up two wickets in the later stages of West Indies’ innings.
Earlier, a solid 175-runs opening stand by Kamini and Poonam Raut (72) laid the foundation for India’s mammoth total. Kamini, who etched her name into the record books surpassed skipper Mithali Raj’s record of the highest score by an Indian eve in a World Cup match. Mithali scored 91 against the Netherlands in the 2005 edition. Meanwhile, India also crossed another milestone after notching up 284 runs, surpassing their previous highest score of 275 against the Netherlands in the 2000 World Cup in New Zealand. Left-hander Kamini, who made a comeback into the side, scored 100 in 146 balls before being finally run-out.
She struck 11 fours and a six. Raut’s 72 runs came off 94 balls and she hit seven fours during her 144-minute stay at the crease. Raut was finally out leg-before trying a sweep shot off spinner Shanel Daley. India tried to accelerate and made best use of the powerplay as 45 runs came off those five overs.
Raut was joined by former India skipper Jhulan Goswami, who was promoted as a pinch hitter and Goswami made a quickfire 36 in 21 balls. India started losing wickets towards the end in their bid to step up the ante. For the visitors, seamer Deandra Dottin picked up three wickets in her four overs while giving away 32 runs and Daley picked up one.