by STAFF WRITER
March 1, 2022
RANGIORA, New Zealand, Mar 1, CMC – West Indies Women head into their crucial group stage opener of the ICC World Cup against hosts New Zealand on Friday plagued by batting worries after another insipid display left them with an 81-run defeat to India Women.
Set 259 to win in their second official warm-up at Rangiora Oval here Tuesday, the Caribbean side were restricted to 177 for nine off their 50 overs, to lose for the second time in three days.
Last Sunday, West Indies went down by 90 runs to Australia Women after also failing to crack 200 in pursuit of 260 in Lincoln.
In search of a confidence booster following that loss, West Indies never found it. The only real bright sparks were Shemaine Campbelle who tasted form with a polished 63 of 81 balls and Hayley Matthews with 44 off 61 deliveries.
West Indies found themselves set back by seamer Pooja Vastrakar who claimed three for 21 while off-spinner Deepti Sharma (2-41), pacer Meghna Singh (2-30) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2-39) all supported with a brace of wickets each.
India had earlier posted 258 all out off their 50 overs after choosing to bat first, Smriti Mandhana (66) and Deepti Sharma (51) producing half-centuries while Yastika Bhatia got 42.
West Indies struck early when they claimed Shafali Verma without scoring off the fourth ball of the contest with a single run on the board but Mandhana and Deepti Sharma put on 117 for the second wicket to steady the innings.
Left-hander Mandhana faced 67 balls and struck seven fours while Deepti punched a single boundary in a busy 64-ball knock.
Once both departed, Bhatia stroked five fours off 53 balls and veteran stroke-maker Mithali Raj hit 30 off 42 balls with four fours to help rally the innings.
Rookie seamer Cherry-Ann Fraser (2-24) and off-spinners Hayley Matthews (2-47) and Karishma Ramharack (2-50), all claimed two wickets each.
In reply, West Indies collapsed quickly to 53 for four in the 20th over, Vastrakar striking twice in a lethal opening spell.
Campbelle and Matthews came to the rescue, however, adding 69 for the fifth wicket to keep their side in with a chance of victory. While Campbelle struck half-dozen fours and a six , Matthews counted three fours before perishing in the 38th over.
It was Matthews’s dismissal which signalled the end of resistance as West Indies lost wickets steadily, five tumbling for 50 runs.