VIJAYAWADA, India – Another batting failure saw West Indies Women crash to a disappointing six-wicket defeat to India Women, in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series Thursday.
Opting to bat first, the West Indies Women’s batting woes continued from the recent series against England Women, as they slumped to a paltry 131 all out off 42.4 overs at the Mulapadu Cricket Ground.
Former captain Merissa Aguilleira top-scored with a defiant, unbeaten 42 off 77 deliveries but was one of only three batters in double figures, with teenaged opener Hayley Matthews getting 24 and captain Stafanie Taylor, 19.
The damage was done by left-arm spinners Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who finished with four for 21 and Ekta Bisht, who claimed three for 14.
West Indies Women were 63 for three in the 17th over but collapsed to lose their last seven wickets for 68 runs.
In reply, India were tottering on 36 for four in the 17th over before Veda Krishnamurthy stroked an unbeaten 52 and captain Mithali Raj, 46 not out, to see the hosts over the line in the 40th over.
The pair put on a brilliant 97 in an unbroken fifth wicket stand as they powered India to a precious two ICC Women’s Championship points.
Fast bowler Shakera Selman was superb on her return to the squad, claiming two for 11 from her nine overs.
West Indies Women, in contrast to India Women, now find themselves under pressure to win the remaining two games in order to make safe their automatic qualification for next year’s 50-overs World Cup in England.
Taking first knock, the visitors lost Shaquana Quintyne without scoring with just five runs on the board in the second over but recovered through a 37-run second wicket partnership between Matthews and Taylor.
Both right-handers, Matthews stroked three fours and a six in a brisk 27-ball knock while the usually prolific Taylor found the boundary twice in her 51-ball innings.
Matthews and Kycia Knight (9) fell in quick succession to leave the Windies Women on 54 for three and when Taylor and Deandra Dottin (8) both perished in successive overs with the score on 63, the innings was plunged into turmoil.
Aguilleira then led a recovery of sorts, stroking six fours and putting on 31 for the sixth wicket with Shemaine Campbelle (7).
However, when Campbelle was run out in the 28th over, West Indies Women suffered another collapse which saw the last five wickets tumbled for 37 runs.
West Indies Women looked like defending their target when Selman removed opener Smriti Mandhana (7) and Mona Meshram (2) cheaply at 28 for two in the eighth over.
Opener Deepti Sharma (16) and Harmanpreet Kaur (1) also perished cheaply in the space of 20 deliveries to leave the Caribbean women on top before Krishnamurthy and Raj arrived to rescue India.
The right-handed Krishnamurthy faced 70 balls and counted four fours and two sixes while the experienced Raj hammered six fours in a 91-ball innings.
West Indies Women face India Women in the second game of the series on Sunday at the same venue.