CRICKET / West Indies gets bowled out for 179 to surrender meekly in the opening match
M. Thirush Kamini scored an impressive century (100, 146b, 11x4s, 1x6) and gave India a winning start in the ICC Women’s World Cup league match against the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Tamil Nadu, playing her 22nd ODI, also became the first Indian to score a century in a World Cup competition. Mithali Raj’s unbeaten 91 against Netherlands in the 2005 competition was the previous best.
Thirush Kamini and Punam Raut opened with a strong partnership of 175 in 37 overs. Though Raut was dismissed in the second of the batting powerplay overs, India hammered its way to post its World Cup high total of 284 and then bowled out West Indies for 179.
The star of the day was the pocket-sized dynamo in Thirush Kamini who batted right through in a blue panama hat. Hardly anyone at the Cricket Club of India took notice of the opening pair in diminutive right hander Punam and Thirush Kamini as they stepped out of the Patiala dressing room after being put into bat.
The members of the famous club were dining at the Polly Umrigar’s Sportsman’s bar, The Porbandar All rounder, Chinaman and the Wet Wicket and some of them were looking forward to a siesta. But some bright cricket played by Raut and Thirush Kamini that was raucously cheered by a young crowd in the North stand drew their attention to the action in the middle.
A little anxious at the start, Punam (72, 94b, 7x4s) and Thirush Kamini took time to settle down.
Skipper Mithali Raj said at the toss that she has a history of losing tosses but was confident of putting up a good total with a batting line-up starting with compact openers in the left-right combination.
Punam played a few attacking shots (pull and square drive) of mediumpacer Shakera Selman and scooped two shots off off-spinner Stafanie Taylor to the fine-leg boundary and Thirush Kamini executed front of the wicket drives as India reached 42 without loss in the first block of ten powerplay overs.
The opening pair dominated the spinners Taylor, Anisa Mohammad and Shaquana Quintyne with Thirush Kamini stepping down the pitch to hit the first six of the match off the 17-year-old leg-spinner Quintyne.
It was a smart move by Mithali to send Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur ahead of herself as they hit out and scored at a brisk pace.
The West Indies lost three quick wickets but Deandra Dottin, who took three wickets, smashed three fours and four sixes before Niranjana got her. Her fall virtually ended West Indies’ hopes.