On a pitch that was damp and had a tinge of green, Mithali Raj turned to a spinner as early as the seventh over. The Indian captain had won the toss and decided to field. Her top pacers, Shikha Pandey and Jhulan Goswami, troubled the West Indies openers but could not break the stand.
Raj, sensing that the partnership might continue, brought on Ekta Bisht. That turned around things. Bisht’s first ball was played by Felicia Walters and all she managed to do was edge it to wicket-keeper Sushma Verma.
Indian spinners never let that advantage let and West Indies scored runs below three runs per over for majority of the innings. Even Deandra Dottin, a player who scored a century off 38 balls in T20 internationals, managed to move to seven off 47 deliveries.
Here’s another example of spinners domination. Harmanpreet Kaur, known for her attacking brand of batting, was brought on after she received some treatment on her left had. She did not take long before removing Kyshona Knight and West Indies had slumped to 92 for 6. That is five wickets for 62 runs in 169 balls.
Even in the first game, Indian spinners were at the top of the game. England were chasing 230 for a win but spinners made the target 50 runs bigger. But, as Watson played a brilliant innings to bring back England in the game. They were favourites as the last 10 overs approached. But, once again, it was an Indian spinner who ruined their recovery.
Deepti Sharma picked three wickets in that match to help India beat England by 35 runs and open the World Cup with a win. She picked two more wickets in the game against West Indies as well.
Teams who began slow against India never got going in the middle overs and India will like to continue this trend when they take on Pakistan in their third game of the World Cup in Derby on Sunday.