For the second day in a row, an Indian team’s batting failed to fire while batting first allowing opponents New Zealand to scale the target with ease and win by 8-wickets. On Thursday it was the men’s team that was dismissed for 92 runs with the series in the bag, a day later it was the turn of the women. India had already won the first two of the three-match ODI series but the fixture, part of the ICC Women’s Championship, had bearing worth two points and net run rate – both of which took a hit.
At the conclusion of the three match series, India stand third – behind Australia and New Zealand – on 12 points from 12 matches with six wins and six defeats to their name. Australia top the table with 16 points from nine games and by virtue of the win in the third ODI, New Zealand have 14 points. The Championship table will decide who participates in the 2021 World Cup.
Captain Mithali Raj, playing a record 200th ODI on Friday, had spoken about the importance of a clean sweep but her team could muster only 149 after being put in to bat. The White Ferns chased down the target in 29.2 overs to register a morale-boosting win ahead of the T20I series.
Deepti Sharma, coming in at number three, was the only batswoman to make a significant contribution, top-scoring with 52 off 90 balls. India went from 117/4 to collapse for 149 in a span of nine overs.
” I am happy with the first series win in New Zealand. I am happy that youngsters like Deepti (Sharma) and Jemimah (Rodrigues) got runs. We definitely wanted to try a few things. The bowlers have done well through the tournament. But today we didn’t get enough runs,” Mithali said in the post-match presentation.
Off-spinner Anna Peterson did the maximum damage from New Zealand taking four wickets for 28 runs in 10 overs. Pacer Lea Tahuhu chipped in with three wickets and conceded just 26 runs in nine overs.
“We talked a lot about pride and just wanted to bounce back. Really glad that we did. But probably took us a little bit too long,” said White Ferns captain Amy Satterthwaite.
At the top of the order, opener Smriti Mandhana failed to fire after two match-winning performances. Her opening partner Jemimah Rodrigues too did not do much, leaving India at 13/2 in the fifth over. Thereafter, Harmanpreet Kaur scored 24 runs off 40 balls before an unsuccessful charge down the wickets off Peterson led to her downfall.
“I would have been really happy to get some more runs. The first two games were very satisfying, I was happy that I could score the winning runs. It’s a lot of hard work yet to be done. I have to score more, win more matches to be tagged the best in the world,” said Mandhana reflecting on her performance.
New Zealand chased down the target with ease with veteran Susie Bates (57) and Satterthwaite (66 not out) scoring fine half centuries.
Mandhana was awarded player of the series for 105 and 90 in the first two games.