GROS ISLET, St. Lucia — India women defeated the West Indies women in the first T20 International by 84 runs at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
Fifteen-year-old Shafali Verma announced herself to the series with a swashbuckling 73 runs, which included 6 fours and 4 sixes on her way to a player-of-the-match performance. Together with Smriti Mandhana, the pair took their team to the highest T20 total by any team against the West Indies women of 185/4.
The West Indies women had some bad news before the start of play as captain Stafanie Taylor was ruled out of the first match with a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain. Series vice-captain Anisa Mohammed stood in as captain for the match.
The West Indies bowlers looked hapless and helpless against the timely strokes by the Indian opening pair. Finally Shakera Selman who returned to the team after an injury layoff, scalped the wicket of Verma, caught by Kyshona Knight. Smriti Mandhana soon followed caught off Mohammed for 67.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur finished not out on 21 as India posted a mammoth 185/4 from their 20 overs. The West Indies bowlers did however reign in the fast scoring that the Indians started their innings with. Shakera Selman finished with 2/35 while Anisa Mohammed had 2/36.
The West Indies women’s batting innings never got the start they needed. Natasha McLean fell for 0 offering an easy running catch to Harmanpreet Kaur. Hayley Matthews looked set to build the innings as she smashed three quick boundaries, racing to 13 from 8 deliveries but was bowled as the runs started flowing.
Shemaine Campbelle played a patient innings working with Kyshona Knight as wickets kept falling.
Knight and Campbelle provided some stability giving the fans hope that a miracle could have happened. But Kyshona fell for 12 and the slide started. Miscommunication between Stacy-Ann King and Campbelle resulted in Campbelle being runout for a hard-fought 33 just when she looked set to take the West Indies women on her shoulders to victory.
The West Indies women reached 101/9 from their 20 overs. Campbelle 33, Matthews 13 and King 13. Radha Yadav finished with 2/10 while Shikha Pandey finished with 2/22.