Fifties for Taylor, Matthews but Windies lose again

LEICESTER, England, CMC – Captain Stafanie Taylor and opener Hayley Matthews struck half-centuries but West Indies Women lost for the third time in their build-up to next week’s ICC Women’s World Cup when they went down by five wickets to India Women in a warm-up match here yesterday.

Opting to bat first at Leicester Grammar School, West Indies Women could only muster 174 for nine from their 50 overs with Taylor and Matthews each getting exactly 50.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor gathers runs through the off-side during her half-century yesterday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

In reply, India Women reached their target in the 43rd over courtesy of an unbeaten 77 from 20-year-old left-hander Smriti Mandhana while Mona Meshram got 40 not out.

Fast bowler Shamilia Connell impressed with three for 42 while off-spinner Hayley Matthews claimed two for 28.

The defeat follows on the heels of similar results last week to a strong England XI and a Southern Vipers side, leaving the Caribbean side perhaps short of confidence ahead of their first official ICC warm-up game against Pakistan Women next Tuesday.

West Indies were handed a solid, if sluggish start, by Matthews and the uncapped Felicia Walters who put on 70 from 134 deliveries.

The enterprising Matthews struck eight fours in a 73-ball knock while Walters’s painstaking 20 required 79 balls and included a single four.

Matthews’s dismissal in the 23rd over triggered a sharp decline for the Windies as they lost three quick wickets for nine runs in the space of 35 balls.

Taylor then attempted to prop up the innings, adding 30 for the fourth wicket with Deandra Dottin (6) and a further 35 for the fifth wicket with Merissa Aguilleira (13).

Once the former skipper was run out in the 42nd over, the Windies lost their last five wickets for just 30 runs.

Taylor, who struck five fours and a six in breezy 59-ball knock, was sixth out in the 46th over to a catch at the wicket off seamer Jhulan Goswami.

Connell then blew away India’s top order to leave them 37 for three in the 12th over but Mandhana held the innings together superbly, facing 99 balls and striking nine fours.

She anchored two crucial partnerships – 43 for the fourth with Harmanpreet Kaur who made 33 from 32 balls and 89 with Meshram in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.

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