India rode on opener Thirush Kamini Murugesan’s maiden century to thrash West Indies by 105 runs in their opening Group A match of the ICC Women’s World Cup here yesterday.
Kamini scored 100 off 146 balls to become the first Indian eve to notch up a century in 50-over World Cup as the hosts piled up a commendable 284 for six after being sent into bat.
Defending the total, Nagarajan Niranjana (3/52), Jhulan Goswami (2/13) and left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana (2/38) starred with the ball to help India bundle out the Caribbean side for 179 runs with 5.3 overs to spare.
West Indies run chase never really got off as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Opener Kycia Knight, one of the twin sister in the team, was dismissed in the second ball of the innings after she was run out by a direct hit from Harmanpreet Kaur.
West Indies then other opener Stafanie Taylor in the first ball of the sixth over after she edged one to wicket-keeper Karuna Jain off Amita Sharma’s bowling.
Niranjana then castled the timbers of Shemaine Campbelle with an in swinger to reduce the West Indies to 38 for three. Deandra Dottin 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 of 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, Kamini etched her name record books and together with Poonam Raut (72) shared 175 runs for the opening wicket to lay the foundation for India’s total. Before Kamini, the previous best by an Indian eve in a World Cup was by skipper Mithali Raj who socred 91 against the Netherlands in the 2005 edition, while this was the highest team total posted by the side.
India surpassed 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 was finally run-out. She struck 11 fours and a six and batted till the 43rd over and spent 156 minutes at the crease. Put into bat, Kamini and Poonam Raut (72) made best use of the flat track at Brabourne Stadium here. Raut’s 72 runs came off 94 balls and she struck 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. She was joined by former Indian 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.
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