TAUNTON, England – West Indies Women’s misery at the ICC Women’s World Cup continued unabated when they tumbled to a seven-wicket defeat to India Women in their second match Thursday.
Once again, the Caribbean side struggled with both bat and ball to slump to their second loss in four days and extend their losing streak on tour to seven straight including warm-up matches, leaving their campaign at the crossroads.
Sent in at County Ground, the Windies rallied to 183 for eight off their 50 overs with Hayley Matthews top-scoring with 43, Afy Fletcher hitting an invaluable unbeaten 36 and Shanel Daley, 33.
At one stage, they were slumping at 121 for seven in the 40th before Fletcher at number nine provided late resistance with bold striking.
India’s slow bowlers turned the screws on West Indies with off-spinners Deepti Sharma (2-27) and Harmanpreet Kaur (2-42), along with leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (2-19) all finishing with two wickets each.
In reply, India stormed to their target courtesy of a superb unbeaten hundred from left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana who ended on 106 not out, while captain Mitahli Raj chipped in with 46.
The Windies struck with the fifth ball of the innings when fast bowler Shamilia Connell had Punam Raut caught at the wicket of a top edge without a run on the board.
And when off-spinner Stafanie Taylor bowled Sharma for six at 33 for two in the eighth, the game became wide open as a contest.
But 20-year-old Mandhana carved out her second one-day hundred, hitting 13 fours and two sixes in a 108-ball knock, as she put on a match-winning 103 for the third wicket with Raj whose innings came from 88 deliveries and included three fours.
When Raj mishit a full toss from off-spinner Matthews to Fletcher at mid-off in the 34th over, Mandhana combined with Mona Meshram (18 not out) in an unbroken 45-run, fourth wicket stand which saw India to their second straight win.
They are second on four points in the eight-team standings behind defending champions Australia Women who are also on four points, with West Indies languishing sixth without a point – along with Sri Lanka Women and Pakistan Women.
Hoping to turn the page on a tame batting effort in their opener against Australia last Monday, the Windies managed only more of the same.
Rookie Felicia Walters scratched around 27 balls for her nine before nicking a swish at a wide delivery from left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht and going caught behind at 29 for one in the seventh over.
Matthews, who looked in fine touch, then dominated a 40-run second wicket stand with captain Taylor who made 16, as West Indies eased to 69 without further loss.
The right-handed Matthews struck seven delightful boundaries on both sides of the wicket in an attractive 57-ball innings before perishing in the 19th over to a tame return catch off Sharma.
With her gone, West Indies lost their way as five wickets crashed for just 22 runs. Taylor and Deandra Dottin (7), both appearing in their landmark 100th ODI, never looked the part and each soaked up a plethora of deliveries without hitting a single boundary.
Taylor faced 42 balls before going run out by Mandhana’s direct hit at the non-striker’s end in the 21st at 70 for three and Dottin laboured for 48 deliveries before picking out long-on with Yadav in the 34th over, with her first shot in anger at 91 for five.
In between, Merissa Aguilleira missed a charge at Yadav and was smartly stumped for six at 80 for four in the 28th over.
When Kaur removed both Kyshona Knight (5) and Chedean Nation (12), the Windies were in strife at 121 for seven but Daley and then Fletcher arrived to rescue the innings.
The left-handed Daley struck five fours off 37 balls while the brave Fletcher faced just 23 deliveries and cracked five fours – three of which came in the final over off Kaur which leaked 18 runs.
West Indies have little time to turn their form around as they take on South Africa in Leicester this Sunday.