Antigua: Twin half-centuries from openers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues helped India women register an easy six-wicket win over West Indies in the third ODI, thereby sealing the three-match series 2-1.
On Wednesday evening, India rode on a brilliant 141-run opening stand between Mandhana (74) and Rodrigues (69) to chase down the 195-run target with 47 balls to spare at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Earlier, West Indies women had a poor start after electing to bat as the opening batters found it difficult to get the scoring started. No runs were scored in the first two overs as Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey had Hayley Matthews and Natasha McLean pegged back with pace.
Natasha was the first to go, trying to play across the line and the ball popped up from the edge of the bat for an easy catch. Hayley playing in her first game this series, eventually took a liking to the pace from Goswami and Pandey, belting them for three fours and a six on her way to 26. However, she got run-out slowed down the pace of the Windies inning and they were reduced to 50/4 inside 20 overs.
Chedean Nation's stay in the middle did not last long as she fell for 6. Kyshona Knight and skipper Stafanie Taylor looked set to rebuild the shaking innings, as they converted their chances for quick singles. After building a steady partnership of 34 runs, Kyshona got out after scoring 16 runs.
Then came the partnership that took the host to a defendable total. Stacy-Ann King and Stafanie added 96 runs to drag the total close to 200 before Stafanie was caught and bowled by Poonam Yadav for 79.
Stacy-Ann soldiered on to 38 before she was bowled by Goswami. The rest of the West Indies batters fell for single digits as they finished their allotted quota of 50 overs on 194 all out.
India started their run-chase confidently with Mandhana playing for the first time in the series. Together with Rodrigues, the pair took a liking to the West Indies bowlers.
They posted 141 runs before Hayley Matthews had Rodrigues stumped for 69. Mandhana continued her scoring but became Matthews' second scalp for 74. Poonam Raut was Hayley's third wicket. India had a slight wobble with four wickets falling in a short space of overs but they were comfortable winners by six wickets in 42.1 overs, finishing on 195/6.
Brief scores: India women 195/4 (Smriti Mandhana 74, Jemimah Rodgrigues 69; Hayley Matthews 3/27) beat West Indies women 194 all out (Stafanie Taylor 79, Stacy-Ann King 39; Jhulan Goswami 2/30). IANS