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India's tour of West Indies started off on a dramatic note as West Indies came from behind to register a one-run win against the visitors in the first match of the series. The match swung like a pendulum between the two sides and the momentum eventually found home in West Indies' camp.
The narrow loss in the first game would have reminded Indian team of their loss in the 2011-2012 series. Indian Women will be looking to win the two remaining fixtures of the series so that their fate do not end up as it did the last time they toured West Indies. The second ODI of the series is set to be played at Antigua, the same venue as the first match, on 3rd November.
West Indies came into the series on the back of a few exceptionally poor performances as they were yet to win a bilateral series since their win against Sri Lanka in 2017-18. While that fact still stands, West Indies are in with a chance to win their first bilateral series in a very long time.
The chief architect of their win was Stephanie Taylor who missed her century by a narrow margin of four runs, but did the job for her side before being undone. She was assisted by Chedean Nation as the duo combined to put on a 78-run stand. Their lower-order struggled to hit boundaries towards the end, but it still managed to get them to a fairly competitive total.
For most part of the defense of their total, West Indies appeared behind the eight-ball. Just when India were cruising, West Indies' bowlers found success and bowled brilliantly thereafter to snatch a win from the jaws of the defeat. Anisa Mohammad bowled a brilliant last over as she defended nine runs and kept India a couple of runs away from a win.
Stafanie Taylor, Aaliyah Alleyne, Chedean Nation, Stacy-Ann King, Natasha McLean, Shemaine Campbelle, Sheneta Grimmond, Anisa Mohammed, Shabika Gajnabi, Kyshona Knight, Afy Fletcher.
The highlight of the day for the fans certainly was the brilliant take by Harmanpreet Kaur to dismiss Stephanie Taylor, but even that wasn't enough to keep West Indies from getting to a competitive total. Indian bowlers toiled hard in the field and although they kept West Indies to a score that was nothing more than competitive, they'd have loved to keep them to a bit lower total.
Pandey and Deepti Sharma bowled well for India as they both picked up a couple of wickets each. They were ably assisted by the other bowlers, who did well to keep West Indies' run-rate in check despite Stephanie Taylor being set in the middle for most part of the first innings.
It was the Indian chase wherein the most of the drama happened. India got off to a flying start as Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodriques combined to add 78 runs for the first wickets. They were well placed till the 40th over with 170 runs on the board and eight wickets in hand, but Punia's dismissal triggered a collapse from which India could never recover and ended up one run short of West Indies' score.
Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Taniya Bhatia, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Priya Punia.
West Indies winning the first match of the series was certainly not the most popular prediction before the game. However, their win has certainly set up the rest of the series beautifully. Indians are still the favorites, but the pressure to win the remaining two fixtures could be telling and could induce mistakes. Having said that, they are a better team on paper and have been in terrific form in recent times, and therefore, go in as firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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