Deepti, Ghosh help India make it two in two

T20 WORLD CUP 2023

Deepti, Ghosh help India make it two in two

by Staff • Published on Wed, Feb 15, 2023

Deepti Sharma became the first Indian, male or female, to reach 100 T20I wickets as she set up India’s six-wicket victory against the West Indies in Cape Town on Wednesday (February 15). On a wicket aiding the slower bowlers, Deepti finished with excellent figures of 3 for 15 from her four overs to restrict the opposition to 118/6. India stuttered a bit in the chase but a 72-run partnership between Richa Ghosh (44* off 32, 5 4s) and Harmanpreet Kaur (33 off 42, 3 4s) helped them over the line with 11 deliveries to spare to make it two wins out of two.

Shafali set the tone for the chase by striking three fours off Shamilia Connell in the opening over and followed it up with a boundary off Chinelle Henry. The bowler was also hit for two more fours by Smriti Mandhana, returning to the playing eleven after missing the first game due to a finger injury. Mandhana’s stay, however, was a short one as she was stumped off Karishma Ramharack in the fourth over and Hayley Matthews took a sharp catch off her own bowling to send Jemimah Rodrigues back to the hut. A boundary for Shafali off Ramharack helped India end the powerplay at 41/2.

A tight over from Matthews followed and in her bid to up the ante Shafali became the third to depart as she slog-swept Ramharack straight to deep backward square leg. The onus was on Harmanpreet and Ghosh to stabilise India’s innings and the Indian captain, after a slow start, struck successive fours off Afy Fletcher in an over that yielded 16 runs. Just before that, Stafanie Taylor had to be stretchered off the field after injuring herself while throwing. Meanwhile, offspinner Ramharack continued to strangle India as she gave away only four runs off her final over to finish with impressive figures of 2 for 14, with India managing only 64 in the first half of their innings.

But Connell ended up going for nine in her second over, which included a boundary for Ghosh, while Harmanpreet swept a full toss from Fletcher for a boundary to bring the equation down to 27 off the last six overs. Fletcher was also guilty of not collecting a throw properly, which would have given West Indies the chance to run Harmanpreet out. The half-century stand was raised shortly after, with the fourth wicket pair pacing their partnership well, with plenty of singles and twos interspersed with boundaries. India crossed 100 at the start of the 16th over when Ghosh pulled Henry for a four. Ghosh then hit two fours off Gajnabi and despite Henry dismissing Harmanpreet and bowling a maiden, India’s wicketkeeper-bat finished it off with a four in the penultimate over off Connell.

Earlier, after opting to bat, West Indies were sluggish during the powerplay as they managed only 29 runs and also lost Matthews early in the innings. Pooja Vastrakar got the West Indies captain edging to the ‘keeper with a delivery that moved late, dismissing Matthews for the fifth time, as she started with a wicket-maiden. Vastrakar conceded only five runs from her first two overs and despite Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle managing a few boundaries, West Indies could not make the most of the fielding restrictions.

The second wicket pair did pick up pace as the innings progressed, managing regular boundaries and rotating the strike well, as they added 73. But the set batters fell in quick succession to Deepti – Campbelle fell to a reverse sweep, with Mandhana taking a diving catch, while India used to review to send Taylor back lbw. Chinelle Henry was run out soon after as West Indies slipped to 79/4.

Shabika Gajnabi and Chedean Nation struck a boundary each off Devika Vaidya in the 17th over, and the former also edged a Vastrakar delivery for a four. But she fell to Renuka Singh and Deepti added another wicket to her tally by having Fletcher bowled in the final over, as India conceded 36 in the last five overs to complete a tidy job with the ball.

Brief scores: West Indies 118/6 in 20 overs (Stafanie Taylor 42, Shemaine Campbelle 30; Deepti Sharma 3-15) lost to India 119/4 in 18.1 overs (Richa Ghosh 44*, Harmanpreet Kaur 33; Karishma Ramharack 2-14) by 6 wickets.

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