RUN OUT: West Indies opener Kycia Knight is run out for a duck in the opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup against India, in Mumbai, India, yesterday. India whipped Windies by 105 runs. —Photo: AP

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Windies women crushed by India in World Cup opener —Page 78

lMUMBAI

West Indies Women's batting woes continued yesterday as they slumped to a heavy loss to hosts India in the opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup.

Chasing an imposing 285 for victory, the Caribbean lasses never came to terms with the moving ball under the lights and collapsed to 179 all out off 44.3 overs, to go down by 105 runs in the day/night affair at Brabourne Stadium.

Shotgun Deandra Dottin produced another cameo to top score with 39 from just 16 balls while Shanel Daley stroked 28 from 38 balls, but West Indies never really recovered from losing Kycia Knight to the second ball of the innings without a run on the board and struggled throughout.

Tottering at 38 for three in the 15th over, Dottin briefly revived the Windies hopes in a 46-run, fourth wicket stand off 26 balls with Kyshona Knight (11). However, once the dangerous Dottin was prised out in the 19th over, West Indies imploded, losing their last seven wickets for 95 runs.

The architect of the Windies' demise was slow medium bowler Nagarajan Niranjana who snared three for 52 to destroy the middle order while seamer Jhulan Goswami (two for 13) was outstanding, creating pressure in a miserly and testing spell with the new ball.

Earlier, India were lifted to their highest ever World Cup total by an even century from opener Thirush Kamini, in a record 175-run opening stand with Poonam Raut who stroked 72.

Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur then unfurled cameo, unbeaten knocks of 36 to further annihilate the West Indies bowling attack.

Kamani, a 22-year-old left-hander, faced 146 balls and counted 11 fours and a six, as she scored the first ever World Cup century by an India woman, in her first international match in three years.

Raut, meanwhile, struck seven fours off 93 deliveries before becoming the first wicket to fall, lbw to left-arm spinner Daley at the end of the 37th over.

Kamani and Goswami then added a further 49 runs off 31 balls for the second wicket, and it was left to Dottin to attempt damage limitation with three for 32 from four expensive overs of medium pace.

West Indies had a tragic start to their innings when left-handed Kycia Knight pushed Goswami into the onside and hesitated over a quick single, and then watched helplessly as Harmanpreet Kaur's direct throw beat her sprint to the non-striker's end.

Fellow opener Stafanie Taylor also failed to come to grips with the early movement and departed for nine to leave Windies on 15 for two in the sixth over. Taylor enjoyed a huge slice of luck on seven in the third over when she was given not out after umpires missed a huge inside edge through to wicketkeeper Karu Jain off Goswami. However, she eventually wafted at a wide delivery from seamer Amit Sharma and was taken low down by Jain.

Shemaine Campbelle stroked three fours in 21 off 35 balls but when she was bowled around her legs by Niranjana, West Indies were in strife at 38 for three.

Dottin arrived to stage a Windies fightback the only way she knows how. The right-hander hammered the first ball she received to the point boundary before punching the next delivery down the ground for another four.

Overall, she smashed three fours and four sixes—two of which came in the next over from left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana (two for 38) and which sailed comfortably over long-off.

The partnership was looking threatening, but both batsmen were removed—in successive overs. Dottin played across a straight one from Niranjana and was adjudged lbw in an over where she had already twice cleared the mid-wicket boundary and Kyshona Knight missed a big drive at Sultana and was bowled.

Sinking at 84 for five in the 20th over, captain Merissa Aguilleira (18) and Daley staged a defiant 49-run, sixth wicket partnership to hold up the Indian advance.

Daley played bravely, stroking three fours and a straight six off Sultana, dominating the stand with Aguilleira who faced 26 balls and struck two fours.

Once again, the partnership was proving an annoyance to the hosts when Aguilleira stroked a simple catch to Mitahali Raj at short extra cover off Niranjana to end the resistance.

The writing was on the wall when Daley finally perished, driving a tame catch to Niranjana at cover off leg-spinner Reema Malhotra

West Indies will take on Sri Lanka in their second match on Sunday.

—CMC

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