India begin in style

Calcutta/Mumbai: India rode on opener Thirush Kamini Murugesan's maiden century to thrash West Indies by 105 runs in their opening Group A match of the ICC Women's World Cup here on Thursday.

Kamini scored 100 off 146 balls to become the first Indian eve to notch up a century in 50-over World Cup as the hosts piled up a commendable 284 for six after being sent in to bat.

Defending the total, Nagarajan Niranjana (3/52), Jhulan Goswami (2/13) and left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana (2/38) starred with the ball to help India bundle out the Caribbean side for 179 runs with 5.3 overs to spare.

West Indies' run chase never really got off as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Opener Kycia Knight, one of the twin sister in the team, was dismissed in the second ball of the innings after she was run out by a direct hit from Harmanpreet Kaur.

West Indies then lost other opener Stafanie Taylor in the first ball of the sixth over after she edged one to wicket-keeper Karuna Jain off Amita Sharma's bowling.

Niranjana then castled the timbers of Shemaine Campbelle with an inswinger to reduce the West Indies to 38 for three.

Deandra Dottin then took the attack to the opposition with a 16-ball 39-run blitzkrieg which was studded with four sixes and three fours.

The 21-year old West Indian clobbered Niranjana for two sixes and a four in the 19th over before the pacer took her revenge by trapping Dottin plumb in front of the wicket in the same over.

Kyshona Knight (11) was then bowled by Sultana in the next over as West Indies lost half of the side back with just 84 runs on the board.

West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira shared a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Shanel Daley before she was caught at covers by Indian captain Mithali Raj off Niranjana.

From there on, victory was just a formality for India and Goswami ensured a quick end to the match by picking up two wickets in the later stages of West Indies' innings.

Earlier, Kamini etched her name on the record books and together with Poonam Raut (72) shared 175 runs for the opening wicket to lay the foundation for India's total.

Before Kamini, the previous best by an Indian eve in a World Cup was by captain Mithali Raj who scored 91 against the Netherlands in the 2005 edition.

India also surpassed their previous highest score of 275 against the Netherlands in the 2000 World Cup in New Zealand.

On promoting Jhulan and Harmanpreet 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 batters who could go out and slog and take advantage of the Powerplay overs."

WoM, 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)."

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