Smriti Mandhana became the fastest Indian to 2000 runs as India managed to beat West Indies by six wickets and win the series 2-1. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Smriti Mandhana created history in the third and final ODI against West Indies in North Sound, Antigua with a brilliant fifty that helped India win the match by six wickets and the series 2-1. Mandhana smashed 74 off 63 balls and the knock included nine fours and three sixes as she went past 2000 runs in her 51st innings, breaking the record set by Virat Kohli who achieved it in 53 innings. Mandhana, though, is the third-fastest to 2000 runs in women's ODIs with Australian duo of Belinda Clark and Meg Lanning achieving the feat in 41 and 45 innings respectively.
Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues' fifty helped India seal the series after losing the first game by one run. West Indies chose to bat and they were jolted immediately with Natasha McLean being dismissed by Shikha Pandey for 3 and Shemaine Campbelle being sent back for 7 by Rajeshwari Gayakwad. There was a moment of controversy when the third umpire was not called in as Hayley matthews was run out by Taniya Bhatia when Mandhana fired a throw. Replays had shown that the ball had popped out of Bhatia's gloves when she broke the stumps and Matthews was sent packing.
Stafanie Taylor shared a 96-run stand with Stacy Ann-King, with Taylor looking good for a century. However, Poonam Yadav dismissed Taylor for 79 and when Jhulan Goswami got rid of King for 38, West Indies lost momentum in the death overs and they were bowled out for 194 in 50 overs. In response, Rodrigues and Mandhana got India off to a flyer and found the boundary on a regular basis. Mandhana, who had missed the first two games due to a toe injury, looked in fine touch and took the attack to the West Indies bowlers.
The partnership reached 141 with Rodrigues and Mandhana both going past fifty. However, when Matthews got both their wickets in the space of two overs, West Indies sensed an opening but Mithali Raj and Punam Raut got India closer to the target without any problems. Although both Raut and Mithali fell with India five runs away, Deepti Sharma sealed the deal with a boundary and India won the match as well as the series.
The focus now shifts to the five Twenty20 Internationals. The first two games will be played at St Lucia while the final three games will be played at Providence, Guyana. The first Twenty20 International begins on November 9 immediately followed by the next match on November 10. After a three-day break, the games in Guyana will be held on November 14,17 and 20.