Mandhana’s 66 powers India Women to 81-run win over West Indies in warm-up

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India batting stalwart Smriti Mandhana compiled a 67-ball 66 in the second warm-up game ahead of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup as the last edition’s runners-up defeated West Indies Women by 81 runs here on Tuesday.

After a narrow two-run win against South Africa on February 27, India thrashed the West Indies on Tuesday, with Deepti Sharma (51), skipper Mithali Raj (30) and Yastika Bhatia (42) coming good to compile 258 in the allotted 50 overs.

Pooja Vastrakar then scalped three wickets while Meghna Singh got two as the Stafanie Taylor-led West Indies were restricted to 177/9 in the warm-up game.

Mandhana seemed to have recovered from the blow she suffered on the head in the first warm-up game as she sizzled with a polished half-century which came with the help of seven boundaries and at a strike rate of nearly 100.

Showing no inhibitions of the head-knock just two days earlier at the same ground, the left-hander played a composed innings as she set the platform for the middle order, with Deepti Sharma also reaching fifty. Seemingly set to keep the No.3 spot, Sharma ticked things over in spite of hitting just the solitary boundary.

Tried at No.5 after opening in the first fixture, Yastika Bhatia made another start of 42, with captain Mithali Raj compiling 30. After her century in the first fixture, Harmanpreet Kaur was rested from batting.

Stafanie Taylor tried a number of options, also finishing with figures of 0/27 from five overs. Cherry-Ann Fraser, Karishma Ramharack and Hayley Matthews finished with a pair of wickets each.

After playing their last match at Lincoln Green, the West Indies found going tough with the new ball on a tricky surface. Jhulan Goswami caused headaches (0/14 from eight overs), though tied up the West Indies top order as wickets fell at the other end.

Pooja Vastrakar (3/21) led the way with the ball, as the likes of Meghna Singh, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad collected a pair of wickets each. Hayley Matthews (44) looked in good touch as Shemaine Campbelle passed fifty.

Brief scores: India Women 258 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 66, Deepti Sharma 51, Mithali Raj 30, Yastika Bhatia 42; Hayley Matthews 2/47, Cherry-Ann Fraser 2/24) beat West Indies Women 177/9 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 44, Shemaine Campbelle 63; Pooja Vastrakar 3/21, Meghna Singh 2/30, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/39, Deepti Sharma 2/31) by 81 runs.

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