Smitri Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur have blasted centuries as they led India to an emphatic 155-run win over previously-unbeaten West Indies at the Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
India produced a mammoth total of 8-317 in their 50 overs and their bowlers complemented that performance, bowling out the West Indies for 162 in just over 40 overs.
The win moved India to the top of the points table and was vital ahead of challenging matches against England and Australia.
In a declaration of intent, young opener Yastika Bhatia struck three boundaries from the first over on a placid pitch at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.
India raced to 0-41after five overs but that was only a taste of the batting to come when Mandhana and Kaur combined in a match-winning 184-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Mandhana reached her fifth one-day international century from 108 balls with nine fours and two sixes. She had moved on to 123 from 119 balls at a strike rate of 103 when she was finally out in 43rd over when India was 4-262.
“The positivity which Yastika started with gave me a lot of confidence,” Mandhana said. “We lost three quick wickets so I had to hold back at first.
“The discussion in the team meeting was to score, keep the momentum high and Yastika did that brilliantly and gave us a 20-30 run cushion after we lost three wickets to settle in.”
Kaur posted her fourth century from 100 balls, hitting 10 fours and two sixes and using every inch of a large ground which was difficult to defend.
She was finally out for 109 in the 49th over when India was 7-313.
The West Indies, who have been the giant killers of the tournament, started their innings boldly and at even greater pace than India.
Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews, their match-winners in the last two games, sped to 50 from five overs and 81 at the 10 over mark.
The West Indies’ 100 came up in the 12th over when Dottin was 69 and Matthews 32.
But Dottin fell at that score and a small collapse followed that derailed the West Indies’ run chase.
Meghna Singh removed Kycia Knight (6) and Stafanie Taylor (1) and Sheh Rana dismissed Matthews for 43 as the West Indies slumped to 4-114.
Another flurry of wickets followed and the West Indies were 7-145 in the 27th over.
The tournament is an eight-team round-robin with the top four teams contesting the semi-finals. India lead the points table on run rate while the West Indies now drop back to fifth place.
New Zealand meet six-time champions Australia in an important match on Sunday.