India eased to a six-wicket victory in the deciding ODI against West Indies, despite a battling 79 from home skipper Stafanie Taylor.
India had the better of the early exchanges, reducing West Indies to 50/4 inside 20 overs. The hosts then rallied, with Taylor leading the charge. A 34-run stand with Kyshona Knight steadied the ship, and a 96-run stand with Stacy-Ann King dragged them close to 200.
A late flurry of wickets meant West Indies didn’t quite breach that mark, but in a series were free-scoring has been hard to come by, it looked a tricky total. Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana made it look the easiest thing in the world.
The prodigious pair put on 141 in 25 overs for the first wicket, each bringing up sublime half-centuries. Mandhana was the more aggressive of the two, striking three sixes in her 63-ball 74, a knock which earned her the Player of the Match award. With the stroke which brought her to 50, she crossed the milestone of 2000 ODI runs, reaching the mark in just 51 innings, the third fastest in women’s cricket. It was some return from injury.
Hayley Matthews, returning to action after a disciplinary ban, dismissed both openers to briefly spark hopes of a Caribbean comeback, but Mithali Raj and Punam Raut eased India’s concerns.
Both fell with the score on 190, but with five runs needed to win, India cruised home with plenty in the tank. The sides will resume battle on 9 November for a five-match T20I series.
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