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Deepti Sharma

Deepti Sharma, openers star as India take 2-0 lead in T20I series

WI v Ind, 2nd T20I, report

India spinner Deepti Sharma made a telling statement with the ball, claiming figures of 4/10, before openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana wrapped up the chase in 10.3 overs to seal a dominating 10-wicket win in the second women's T20I against West Indies.

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Deepti starred with the ball, returning her career-best T20I figures, while Shafali, who made an impressive half-century in the series opener, brought up her second consecutive fifty, scoring 69* from 35, at St Lucia's Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Sunday, 10 November. 

Opting to bat, West Indies got off to a shaky start, losing opener Stacy-Ann King (7) and No.3 Shemaine Campbelle in quick succession. Just like in the previous game, it was India pace bowler Shikha Pandey who provided her side with the first breakthrough, while smart bowling from Radha Yadav had Campbelle stumped for a four-ball duck. 

Opening batter Hayley Matthews and Chedean Nation then got into the rebuilding act, and played cautiously, with West Indies' scoreline reading 38/2 in the first 10 overs. They steadied the innings briefly, stitching together a 34-run partnership before Pooja Vastrakar struck in the 12th over to claim the big wicket of Matthews, who fell for 23. 

The wickets kept tumbling as India tightened the grip in the last four overs, courtesy of Deepti's impressive effort with the ball.

After Matthews' wicket, Nation, who top-scored for the hosts with a 36-ball 32, shared another crucial stand of 32 runs with Natasha McLean, but when West Indies lost both the batters to Deepti in the 17 overs, they found themselves in deep trouble at 84/5 after 16.5 overs.

The spinner's last over yielded two more wickets as India restricted West Indies to 103/7. 

In response, the 15-year-old Shafali brought her scintillating form into the second game, reaching her fifty off just 26 balls – the third-fastest by an Indian in women's T20Is. Her 39-ball 69* featured 10 fours and two sixes. In the previous game, she had smashed a 49-ball 73 to becoming the youngest Indian to score a half-century in international cricket.

Mandhana, who also made a fifty in the series opener, played a rather sedate knock on Sunday, scoring an unbeaten 30 off 28, including four fours. The combined effort saw India reach their target with 53 balls to spare.

The third of the five T20Is will be played at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Thursday, 14 November.

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