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India beat West Indies by 8 wickets in final league match of Women’s T20I Tri-series

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EAST LONDON (SOUTH AFRICA): Deepti Sharma emerged as the star performer as India tuned up for the women’s T20 Tri-series final with a dominating eight-wicket win over the West Indies in an inconsequential match here on Monday.

If the bowlers, led by Deepti (3/11), put up a clinical show to limit the West Indies to 94 for six, Jemimah Rodrigues (42 not out) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (32 not out) produced an attacking batting display as India chased down the modest target in 13.5 overs.

India will face hosts South Africa in the final on February 2.

Chasing 95 for win, Smriti Mandhana (5) was castled after she was late in attempting a shot but Rodrigues picked up three boundaries to take India to 36 for one in six overs.

Harleen Deol, who was looking good, failed to clear the mid-off and was holed out to Shabika Gajnabi.

Skipper Harmanpreet then joined Rodrigues and smashed four boundaries to knock off the remaining runs with immaculate ease.

The duo added a match-winning unbeaten 54 runs off just 40 balls.

Earlier, India justified the decision to bowl after winning the toss as they sizzled with the ball with spin duo of Deepti and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (1/9) suffocating the Windies batters.

Deepti rocked the top order with back-to-back wickets, removing Rashada Williams (8) and Campbelle (0), before returning to get rid of Shabika Gajnabi (12), who was stumped by Yastika Bhatia.

Left-arm spinner Gayakwad too stuck to a good line and length as the Windies batters couldn’t free their arms.

She was rewarded soon as her arm-ball trapped Djenaba Joseph (3) in the ninth over. Replays later showed that she had got an inside-edge.

Pooja Vastrakar (2/19), who was introduced in the 10th over, snapped two wickets, including the final wicket of Alleyne in the last ball of the innings.

But it was an off day for veteran pacer Shikha Pandey, who conceded 28 runs in her three overs, while Renuka Singh was wicketless for 22 in her quota for four overs.

For West Indies, Hayley Matthews (34) was the only batter who put up a fight but she didn’t get any support from the other end.

Gajnabi (12) managed a double digit figure but it was the two unexpected sixes from Zaida James (21), which took West Indies closer to the 100-run mark. (PTI)

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