ICC Women WC: India beat WI
Mumbai, Jan 31 : Thirush Kamini's maiden ODI century Thursday helped the host of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 to overcome the West Indies by 105 runs in the opening game of Group A of the tournament at the Cricket Club of India. The left-handed opener scored 100 off 146 balls with the help of 11 fours and one massive six over mid-wicket and to add to the excitement of the first game of the tournament, her ton was the first century by an Indian batter in a World Cup game.
The Chennai-born batter, along with fellow opener Poonam Raut (72 off 94 balls), shared an opening partnership of 175 - which set another new record for the India women's side, the highest partnership by the side in a Women's World Cup.
After being put into bat first, India's women racked up 284-6 off their allotted 50 overs.
India's run-making was also helped by cameos from Jhulan Goswami (36 off 21 balls) and Harmanpreet Kaur (36 off 22 balls).
Merissa Aguilleira's West Indies had its run-chase thwarted right at the beginning of the innings, with three wickets falling for just 38 runs, including that of ICC Women's ODI Player of the Year 2012, Stafanie Taylor.
Deandra Dottin tried to take the attack to the Indian bowlers hammering a quick-fire 39 off 16 balls with four sixes and three fours.
However, after she was adjudged leg before wicket off Niranjana Nagarajan, wickets fell at regular intervals.
West Indies eventually were bowled out for 179 off 44.3 overs to give India a comfortable win. Medium pacer Niranjana was the pick of the India bowlers finishing with figures of 3-52.
Kamini, who made her debut in the 2006 Asia Cup at the age of 16, is making a comeback to the India side after a gap of more than two years.
The 22-year-old has been a consistent performer since her earlier days and was awarded the Best Junior Women's Cricketer in 2007-08 and Best Senior Women's Cricketer for 2009-10 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India captain Mithali Raj was satisfied with the win.
"It is definitely a perfect start to the tournament for us. The way Kamini and Poonam batted was encouraging; I hope they continue the form in the coming matches too. After India's performance Wednesday, I feel the tournament is definitely wide open," admitted Mithali.
On promoting Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur ahead of herself in the batting order, Mithali said: "I think it was a wise decision since they both played beautifully. We had been preparing batsmen who could go out and slog and take advantage of the power-play overs."
The Player of the Match, Kamini, was delighted at her performance.
"It feels great to become the first Indian woman to score a hundred (at a Women's World Cup). The wicket was good to bat on, I just took it ball by ball and didn't put too much pressure on myself."
Meanwhile, West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira expressed disappointment at the performance Wednesday, commenting: "I know that my team is capable of much better performance. We just did not perform to our best today. But I am confident we will come back in the coming matches."
Scores in Brief
At Cricket Club of India
India 284-6, 50 overs (Kamini 100, Raut 72; 3-32 Dottin)
West Indies 179 all out; 44.3 overs (Dottin 39; 3-52 Niranjana)
India won by 105 runs
Group A - England v Sri Lanka, Cricket Club of India, Mumbai - 0900 IST
Group B - Australia v Pakistan, Barabati Stadiu, Cuttack - 0900 IST
Group B - New Zealand v South Africa, DRIEMS Cricket Ground, Cuttack - 0900 IST