CAPE TOWN: Deepti Sharma shone with the ball before Richa Ghosh led India to a six-wicket win over West Indies in its Women’s T20 World Cup Group 2 match here on Wednesday.
Deepti spun a web around the West Indies batters to restrict them to 118 for six after being asked to bowl. The seasoned off-spinner (3/15) picked three wickets to become the first Indian to get to 100 T20I wickets.
“It is a milestone (100 wickets). My focus is on the result and the team. It is a turning wicket and helped me a lot. I focused on the stump-to-stump line,” Deepti said after being adjudged Player of the Match.
Ghosh (44 not out) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (33) then put up a vital 72-run stand to take India to its second victory of the tournament with 11 balls to spare.
The win also strengthened India’s chances for a semifinal spot. The ‘Women in Blue’ (+0.590) are second behind England (+2.497) in Group 2 owing to an inferior net run rate. Needing less than run a ball, India was off to an electric start with openers Shafali Verma (28) and Smriti Madhana (10) taking the team total to 31 in four overs on the back of six fours.
But India lost the momentum as slow bowling did the trick for West Indies.
Mandhana missed off-spinner Karishma Ramharack’s (2/14) ball completely, resulting in an easy stumping for wicketkeeper Rasha Williams.
Last game match-winner Jemimah Rodrigues (1) became Hayley Matthews (1/12) first and only victim of the day as the skipper took a stellar catch of her own bowling.
After two low-scoring overs, Shafali tried to up the ante only to be caught at long leg and West Indies picked up three wickets in quick succession. Harmanpreet took her time to settle down before hitting back-to-back fours off Afy Fletcher (0/24) in the ninth over. The India skipper’s knock came off 42 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Ghosh did what she does best -- finish the game.
The youngster hit five fours, including one to finish off the match in her unbeaten 32-ball innings. She took India to 119 for 4 in 18.1 overs.
Asked about Ghosh, Harmanpreet added, “She has been great for us. She is someone who can always pull the game for us. She is a very dangerous batter. She can express herself. We are happy with the results and the next game is very important. Just want to continue the rhythm.”
BRIEF SCORES: West Indies 118/6 in 20 overs (S Taylor 42, D Sharma 3/15) lost to India 119/4 in 18.1 overs (R Ghosh 44*)
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