ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Title-holders West Indies suffered a hiccup in preparation for their Twenty20 World Cup title defence when they went down by five wickets to India, in their opening official ICC warm-up for the upcoming tournament here Sunday night.
Choosing to bat first at Coolidge Cricket Ground, West Indies were limited to 115 for eight off their 20 overs, with stand-in captain Hayley Matthews top-scoring with 41 from 37 deliveries.
In-form Shemaine Campbelle got 22 from 28 balls but was the only batsman to pass 20 and just one of three in double figures, as the home side’s batting faltered.
Matthews gave her side a brisk start, lashing five fours and a six in putting on 27 off 18 balls for the first wicket with Deandra Dottin (9).
When Dottin perished at the end of the third over, Campbelle joined Matthews to add a further 46 for the second wicket off 51 deliveries, as West Indies found themselves well placed on 73 for one in the 12th over.
Campbelle struck two fours in her stay at the crease but her dismissal triggered a slide where seven wickets tumbled for 42 runs.
Teenaged left-arm spinner Radha Yadav (2-13), leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (2-17) and seamer Arundhati Reddy (2-36) all combined to hurt the Windies women innings.
Set a revised target of 75 off 12 overs, India eased to victory with three balls to spare, with opener Smriti Mandhana top-scoring with 32 off just 20 balls, striking two fours and two sixes.
Speedster Shamilia Connell gave the hosts a great start when she removed batting star Mithali Raj without scoring to the second ball of the run chase, and medium pacer Dottin then knocked over Jemimah Rodrigues (1) and Taniya Bhatia (5) cheaply, to leave India struggling on 24 for three in the fourth over.
However, the left-handed Mandhana held the innings together before skipper Harmanpreet Kaur chipped in with a crucial 18 towards the end.
At the same venue, New Zealand easily disposed of Sri Lanka by six wickets, after chasing down a mediocre 98 with two over remaining.
And in another low-scoring contest at the Guyana National Stadium in Georgetown, Bangladesh beat minnows Ireland also by six wickets.