Cape Town: Off-spinner Deepti Sharma set up a second successive win for India in the Women’s T20 World Cup with a match-changing spell against the West Indies at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
India won by seven wickets to join England at the top of Group Two.
West Indies were restricted to 118 for six with Sharma taking three for 15, in the process becoming the first Indian player to take 100 wickets in T20 internationals. India had slipped to 43 for three in reply but captain Harmanpreet Kaur (33) and rising star Richa Ghosh (44 not out) took India to the brink victory with a partnership of 72 for the fourth wicket.
In the other match of the day, opening batter Muneeba Ali became the first ever woman to score a hundred for Pakistan in T20 internationals as she smashed 102 against Ireland.
The bespectacled 25-year-old, whose previous highest in T20 cricket was 43, clubbed 14 fours in her 68-ball innings to give Pakistan a great chance of collecting their first win of the competition.
Muneeba raised her hundred with a boundary off Leah Paul but fell three balls later when she skied a slog to mid-on.
Muneeba made her first century in ODI cricket in November when she scored 107 against Ireland in Lahore.
Sharma made two crucial breakthroughs after West Indies reached 78 for one, dismissing former captain Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle in the space of four balls after the pair had put on 74 for the second wicket.
Campbelle (30) attempted a reverse sweep and Smriti Mandhana, back in action after missing India’s win against Pakistan on Sunday because of a finger injury, took a good catch diving forward at backward point.
Taylor, in her second match since suffering a back injury last September, scored 42 from 40 balls before falling leg before on review three balls after Campbelle’s dismissal.
There was concern for the West Indies later when Taylor was stretchered off eight overs into India’s innings after going down in pain after bending to field a ball.
Shafali Verma hit four boundaries as she and Mandhana scored 28 off the first two overs of India’s reply.
But a switch to spin paid off as Karishma Ramharack and fellow off-spinner, captain Hayley Matthews, slowed the scoring and took three wickets for 15 runs in the next 5.1 overs.
Ramharack, who did not play in her team’s defeat against England on Saturday, took two for 14 in four accurate overs. She had Mandhana stumped for 10 and Verma caught at deep square leg for 28.