Harmanpreet’s team takes on West Indies today; Mandhana expected to be back
After the 2016 title triumph, the West Indies women have looked a pale shadow of the champion side they once were. Since their landmark victory in India, West Indies have faltered and fumbled on the big stage.
They started their campaign in the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa on a wrong note, crashing to a seven-wicket loss to England on Saturday. Come Wednesday, they will take on a buoyant Harmanpreet Kaur-led India, who scored a convincing win against Pakistan in their high-scoring opener.
Smriti Mandhana’s most impactful knocks
<p>Team India made a big statement beginning their campaign with a win against the hosts. A 20 year old Smriti Mandhana smashed an impactful 90 of 72 balls. That along with good contributions from Punam Raut & Mithali Raj saw India post 281/3.<br /></p>
<p>India won the match by 35 runs and Smriti was the Player of the Match.<br /><br /></p>
<p>This knock helped Smriti become the second fastest Indian woman to get to 1000 T20I runs.<br /></p>
<p>India were at 49/2 against the mighty Aussies, but Smriti’s impactful 83 off 55 balls, along with a quickfire 43 by Harmanpreet took India to 167/8. India eventually won the match by 48 runs and Smriti was once again the Player of the Match.<br /></p>
<p>When India toured South Africa in 2018, Smriti Mandhana played one of her greatest ODI knocks.<br /></p>
<p>Batting first, Mandhana notched up her career best score of 135 off 129 balls at a strike rate of 104.65. Her innings included 14 fours and a six. India won that game by a massive margin of 178 runs.<br /></p>
<p>Batting first, the Indian team found themselves in trouble at 78-3, losing Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, and Mithali Raj in quick succession. But Mandhana stepped up to the plate and played a great knock of 123 runs off 119 balls at a strike rate of 103.36.<br /></p>
<p>Mandhana along with Harmanpreet, who also scored a century, notched up a record partnership of 184 which is India’s highest World Cup partnership in women’s cricket.<br /><br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Chasing 184 against West Indies in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup at Taunton in 2017, India found themselves in trouble as opener Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma departed within the first eight overs leaving India reeling at 33-2, chasing 184 for a win.<br /></p>
<p>Mandhana, who opened the innings, stabilised things for the Women in Blue with a match-winning knock of 106 off 108 balls, with 13 fours and a couple of sixes. India won the match by 7 wickets and Mandhana was named Player of the Match.<br /></p>
<p>After restricting the Kiwis to 192, India began briskly. Mandhana became the aggressor and went on to score a match-winning knock of 105 runs off 104 balls.<br /></p>
<p>Her knock included 9 fours and 3 sixes. She was also adjudged Player of the Match.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>Batting first, India lost opener Thirush Kamini early. The then captain Mithali Raj joined Mandhana to build a partnership. <br /></p>
<p>Madhana went on the attack against a strong Aussie bowling line-up and scored her first-ever ODI hundred at Hobart. Her charismatic innings included 11 fours. India lost the game and series, but it was the beginning of a new era.<br /><br /><br /></p>
Statistically, India have fared well against the West Indies, winning 12 of their 20 T20 face-offs. At the World Cup, they are even, having won a game each.
India, the last edition runners-up, will hope for their mainstay batter Smriti Mandhana to be fit. Although Smriti batted at the nets on Tuesday, bowling coach Troy Cooley was non-committal about her availability.
“She’s been working very hard. She did everything that needed to be done today and we’ll look at how she pulls up,” said the Australian.
Troy also dismissed fitness concerns around Kaur, who opted out of the nets session on match eve. As a batting unit, India will draw confidence from the start given by young Shafali Verma, but her opening partner Yastika Bhatia had some teething problems against Pakistan. Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh’s form augurs well for the team.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s top knocks
<p>Harmanpreet Kaur put all her powers on display against Australia in this 2017 World Cup semi-final. She bailed the team out of trouble in a way that not many expected, with a knock that is considered one of the best knocks played in World Cup history.<br /></p>
<p>Harman played a blistering knock of 171* off 115 balls, with 20 fours and 7 sixes, at a strike rate of 148.7. The knock helped India reach the final, where they lost by 9 runs to England.<br /></p>
<p>On the tour of England, India had a wonderful outing as they whitewashed England on their own turf. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front, both as batter and skipper.<br /></p>
<p>In the second ODI, while batting first, Harmanpreet went on to score a swashbuckling 143* off 111 balls. Her knock included 18 fours and 4 sixes. This was her second ton as a skipper.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>In the 2013 World Cup, India started off well by defeating West Indies in their opener.<br /></p>
<p>Against England, while chasing 272, Harmanpreet took all the responsibility on her shoulders and played a fighting knock of 107* runs off 109 balls. Her knock included 8 fours and a 2 sixes. The knock though went in vain as India lost that game by 32 runs.<br /><br /><br /></p>
<p>India started off their T20 World Cup 2018 campaign with a bang, with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scoring a sensational 103 vs NZ in the opening game of the tournament.<br /></p>
<p>It was her first hundred in T20Is. Harmanpreet scored 103 runs off just 51 balls at a massive strike rate of 201.96 and smashed 7 fours and 8 sixes. India won the game by 34 runs.<br /></p>
<p>After a dismal World Cup performance, India were hosting Bangladesh in an ODI and T20I series. In the second ODI, while batting first, Punam Raut gave India a good start but also lost two partners. Harmanpreet entered the arena and turned things around.<br /></p>
<p>She played a wonderful innings of 103 runs off 100 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes. India went on to win the game and the series.<br /><br /><br /></p>
Two key areas of concern for India will be bowling in the death and fielding. Pacer Renuka Singh and offie Deepti Sharma went for some big runs against Pakistan. The 58 runs that India conceded in the last five overs will worry the team. India’s fielding under pressure was underwhelming. During the match they went from sharp to ordinary, especially in the last two over wherein two catches were grassed.
The last time the two teams met was in the tri-series last month and India had registered an eight-wicket victory.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023: Top action pictures so far
<p>Jess Kerr of New Zealand looks stunned after being dismissed during a group game against South Africa.<br /></p>
<p>Nonkululeko Mlaba of South Africa celebrates the wicket of Lea Tahuhu of New Zealand during a group match between South Africa and New Zealand.<br /></p>
<p>Hayley Jensen of New Zealand plays a shot during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup group game between South Africa and New Zealand.<br /></p>
<p>Heather Knight of England reacts after being bowled by Mary Waldron of Ireland during a group game between England and Ireland.<br /></p>
<p>Sophie Ecclestone of England celebrates the wicket of Eimear Richardson of Ireland during the group match between Ireland and England.<br /></p>
<p>Harshitha Samarawickrama of Sri Lanka celebrates the winning hit in a group match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. <br /></p>
<p>Marufa Akter of Bangladesh celebrates the wicket of Vishmi Gunarathne of Sri Lanka during a group match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.<br /></p>
<p>Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh of India celebrate their win against arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match.<br /></p>
<p>Jemimah Rodrigues celebrates her half-century after hitting the winning runs against arch-rivals Pakistan.<br /></p>
<p>Sidra Amin of Pakistan takes a screamer on the boundary to dismiss Shafali Verma during the India vs Pakistan match.<br /><br /><br /></p>