New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr slammed a superb unbeaten century (119 off 135 deliveries) and also grabbed a wicket as the hosts defeated India Women by three wickets in the second One-day International to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series at the John Davies Oval here on Tuesday.
In one of the most dominating performances by New Zealand Women ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup at home next month, the White Ferns played remarkably to overhaul India’s stiff target of 270/6 in 50 overs for the loss of seven wickets and an over to spare.
The 21-year-old Amelia Kerr saved the White Ferns from an early collapse, putting on 128 for the fourth wicket with Maddy Green in the middle overs, before guiding the team home with the tail-enders, in a match many predicted India would win after the tourists posted an imposing total.
Amelia’s sister Jess Kerr completed the task for New Zealand with a swipe over the fielders at cover to ensure a hard-fought win for the hosts. This was Amelia’s second ODI century and came with the help of seven boundaries.
The No. 3 batter came in at 35/1, with Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite departing in quick succession before the 10th over as India looked to dominate. Rebuilding with Maddy Green, the duo played with caution as the field moved out, scoring in ones and twos to ensure the target stayed within reach.
Despite a late stumble with the loss of Green (52) and Brooke Halliday (13), Amelia carried on with Katey Martin contributing 20, before Jess Kerr kept her cool at the other end.
Earlier, India posted their highest Women’s ODI total against New Zealand, making 270/6 after an amazing start at the top of the order from Sabbhineni Meghana. One of the most aggressive batters in the world, Shafali Verma (24 off 38 balls), curbed her attacking instinct as Meghana (49 off 50), smashed seven boundaries. She, however, fells agonisingly short of a maiden half-century.
Their work was built upon by Yastika Bhatia (31), along with a stand of 108 between skipper Mithali Raj and Richa Ghosh.
Ghosh compiled her maiden ODI fifty at better than a run-a-ball, and finished with 65 before falling in the 46th over. Despite her efforts, India failed to churn out vital late-over runs at a heavy clip, finishing arguably 10 to 20 runs short of a possibly stronger total given the start.
Five bowlers shared the wickets in New Zealand’s bowling effort, including Amelia Kerr who chimed in with 1/43 (8) before her batting masterclass.
The teams will meet for the third ODI on February 18.
Brief scores: India Women 270/6 in 50 overs (Sabbhineni Meghana 49, Yastika Bhatia 31, Mithali Raj 66, Richa Ghosh 65) lost to New Zealand 273/7 in 49 overs (Sophie Devine 33, Amelia Kerr 119 not out, Maddy Green 52; Deepti Sharma 4/52) by three wickets.