Indian players celebrate after winning the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup match between West Indies and India at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday. (Photo: AFP)
Hamilton: Skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday hailed India's "special effort" to comprehensively beat West Indies by 155 runs but wants more consistency in the upcoming games of the ICC Women's ODI World Cup.
Coming into the match following a loss against hosts New Zealand, India dished out a splendid allround performance to notch up a dominating win over West Indies and top the points table.
"Could not have asked anything better than today's display. Today's win should keep us in the (frame) tournament for the knockouts. Batting and bowling really came out well," Raj said in the post-match presentation.
"It had a lot to do with the couple of games, could see the nerves in the girls. Everyone knew the importance of today's game. Required a special effort, we knew West Indies came from 2 wins, we were playing after a big loss.
"We need to be consistent as the next game is in a different venue and a different opponent, we will be having different plans."
Smriti Mandhana (123) and Harmanpreet Kaur (109) slammed twin centuries to set up the win and Raj praised the duo for their sensible batting.
"The way Smriti and Harman played, very sensible and they have used their experience to get us to the table," she said.
Raj on Saturday broke the record for most matches captained in the ICC Women's World Cup, surpassing former Australian counterpart Belinda Clark.
The India skipper said the team was in good hands with the youngsters doing well.
"It's good to have youngsters around, me and Jhulan have played for a long time. When you have to let your guard down, need the youngsters to crack a joke - it eases out our nerves, which has helped me in the past."
West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor blamed the bowlers for their insipid performance.
"I don't think we bowled the way we wanted to. Gave away too many short balls. I thought Harman and Smriti batted really well. We just couldn't get back from that."
Chasing a stiff total of 317, West Indies were off to a flier with openers Deandra Dottin (62) and Hayley Matthews (43) putting up 100 runs in 12.1 overs but once the two departed, the innings fall apart.
"The start they gave us was brilliant. Probably it was important for one of them to stay there. But they did really well. The batters who came in didn't capitalize.
"The positive would be the opening partnership. I think we did well in that area."
Named the 'Player of the Match', Mandhana decided to share the award with Kaur.
"I think scoring a century and not being a Player of the Match is something I really wouldn't want as a player. I think we both contributed equally for us to score 300. So, I think it's good for us to share the trophy and I think both are good contenders to get it," Mandhana said.
"We learnt from our mistakes and that's something we thought we are not gonna repeat it. As batters, we both prefer chasing and setting the target both together. Last game we didn't get going and in chasing it's very important to get the momentum.
"Our strengths are really different because she is really good with spin and I like pace on the ball. So when the spinner comes on I give her the strike and when the pacer comes on she gives me the strike."