Harmanpreet Kaur took a stunning catch which set the internet on fire during the women's ODI clash between India and West Indies at North Sound, Antigua. The batter in question was Stafanie Taylor and she was nearing a century. On 94, Taylor smashed Ekta Bisht to the long on fence and she looked like getting to her century in style. However, Harmanpreet, positioned near the boundary, jumped to her left and timed it to perfection and took a stunning one-handed catch inside the ropes. She held her balance and denied Taylor the chance to go to a century. However, India women's cricket team still suffered heartbreak as they lost to the West Indies by one run in the first ODI at the Sir Viv Richards stadium in Antigua on Friday.
West Indies chose to bat and they were given a good start by Natasha McLean and Stacy-Ann King as the duo stitched a 51-run stand for the opening wicket. However, Deepti Sharma struck twice by removing King and Shemaine Campbelle in quick succession but McLean and Taylor held firm. McLean notched up her fifty but perished soon after and the onus was on Taylor. The West Indies skipper shared a 78-run stand with Chedean Nation and West Indies were staring at a good total. Jhulan Goswami removed Nation for 43 and West Indies lost their way in the final overs, with Shikha Pandey taking two quick wickets.
In the final over, Taylor looked to reach her century but she was undone by Harmanpreet's fantastic catch and West Indies ended on 225/7. In response, Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues gave India a good start, forging a 78-run opening partnership before Taylor dismissed the latter in the 22nd over. Punia and Poonam Raut (22) then looked to build the innings but a run out ended the partnership as India slipped to 124 for two in 32nd over. Punia also shared a 46-run stand with skipper Mithali Raj (20) but she was removed by Mohammed in the 40th over with India still needing 56 to win. Harmanpreet Kaur (5), Deepti Sharma (19) and Jhulan Goswami (14*) tried their bit but West Indies continued to chip away.
Nobody:— Annesha Ghosh (@ghosh_annesha) November 1, 2019
Literally nobody at 2:45am IST:
Harmanpreet Kaur in Antigua:pic.twitter.com/4CxUYAr06T
Anisa Mohammed was the chief destroyer as she picked up wickets at regular intervals. She sent back Punia for 75 and got the big wicket of Mithali. Heading into the final over, Mohammed was given the task of defending nine runs and she removed Ekta Bisht first ball. Jhulan Goswami found the boundary and with two runs needed off the last ball, the pressure was on Poonam Yadav to get India over the line. However, Yadav fell first ball as Mohammed dismissed her and West Indies had secured a narrow win. The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday followed by the last ODI on Wednesday.
The ODI series will then be followed by a five-match Twenty20 International series that will begin on November 9 with two matches at St Lucia. The series will then shift to Guyana where the two teams will play the remainder of the matches at Providence stadium, Guyana. The matches will be a key preparation for the upcoming Women's World T20 in 2020 which will be played in Australia.