On the back of fifties from Amy Satterthwaite and Amelia Kerr apart from the latter and Lea Tahuhu sharing six wickets between themselves, an all-round New Zealand crushed India by 62 runs at Seddon Park in the eighth match of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, here on Thursday.
India, who had opted to bat second in the hope of dew aiding them in the chase, pulled back things in last ten overs of New Zealand’s innings, taking 6/49 and keeping them to a par score of 260. But New Zealand didn’t allow any breathing space in the first 20 overs, resulting in India not getting the required tempo to ace the chase. Eventually, they were all out for with Harmanpreet Kaur’s 71 the lone bright spot.
Frankie Mackay’s off-spin and pace from Jess Kerr kept India on a tight leash from the word go. The duo were bang-on with their line and length and didn’t offer Smriti Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia any width. Smriti, whose shots were mostly going to the fielders, tried to break the shackles off Jess in the sixth over.
Jess, coming in from round the wicket, got Smriti to mistime a loft to cover. New Zealand’s relentless pursuit of building the dot-ball pressure bore fruit as Deepti Sharma was trapped lbw on last ball of power-play off Lea. The on-field umpire gave it lbw but New Zealand took the review and got to reverse the decision in their favour.
India’s too slow a start and New Zealand’s disciplined bowling meant they never got the chance to break free and rotate the strike. Post-power-play, Yastika went for the push early, giving mid-off a catch off the leading edge.
Mithali Raj, dropped by cover off Lea early in the knock, stitched a laborious 47-run stand off 63 balls with Harmanpreet. But Amelia, introduced from 25th over, made double strikes in the 30th over to dent India’s chances of making an improbable comeback in the match.
Mithali, expecting a googly, was stumped off a leg-break outside off-stump which she attempted to sweep. On the very next ball, Amelia bowled Richa Ghosh for a golden duck with a googly that turned in and hit top of off-stump.
Sneh Rana negated Amelia’s hat-trick ball with a cut through point but didn’t look comfortable at the crease. Lea, coming in her final over, bounced her out with a well-directed short ball which took the glove edge to Katey. Amidst all the ruins, Harmanpreet was waging a lone battle, pulling and sweeping hard even as Pooja Vastrakar holed out to mid-off off Hannah Rowe.
After Harmanpreet got her fifty in 54 balls, she slog-swept Hannah for two sixes over deep mid-wicket and two fours swept through square leg and fine leg to take 20 runs off the 43rd over. Harmanpreet’s late surge came to an end at 71 when she miscued a slog to long-off off Amelia. Hayley Jensen then yorked Jhulan Goswami and got Rajeshwari Gayakwad to nick behind on successive deliveries to seal a comprehensive win for New Zealand.
Earlier, Pooja led a late fightback for India as New Zealand 6 for 49 in the last 10 overs after dominating the majority of the innings. India had an early breakthrough as Suzie Bates was run-out via a direct hit from Pooja.
Sophie Devine brought out her counter-attacking game by smashing three boundaries each off Jhulan and Meghna. Just after powerplay ended, Pooja took out Sophie with a short ball which bounced a bit and was snapped by Richa as the right-hander cut it too hard.
Amelia took her time and then got going as Yastika dropped a tough chance of her at deep square leg off Rajeshwari. Amelia was adept at facing spin of Rajeshwari, Sneh and Deepti while Amy got into her groove with boundaries off the spinners. Amelia reached her fifty with a single through long-on.
But three balls later, Rajeshwari got her wicket as Amelia missed the sweep completely, bringing the 67-run partnership to a close. Amy continued to come down the pitch and find gaps consistently through the arc between long-off and cover. Amy then stitched a 54-run stand with Maddy Green, who was assertive with her sweep, pull and dabs through the third man.
Amy then reached her fifty with a brace through extra cover. But in the next over, Deepti broke the partnership as Maddy, in a bid to break a boundary-less run of last six overs, holed out to long-on. Amy then got fine support from Katey, who got a reprieve when Pooja dropped a sitter at short third man.
India’s fightback in death overs began when Pooja forced Amy to flick in the air and found mid-wicket fielder. Rajeshwari then beat Hayley on the sweep to hit the stumps. Pooja delivered back-to-back yorkers to take out Lea and Jess. In the final over of the innings, Jhulan got a scalp against her name as her yorker ended Katey’s stay at 41.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 260/9 in 50 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 75, Amelia Kerr 50; Pooja Vastrakar 4/34, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/46) beat India 198 all out in 46.4 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 71, Mithali Raj 31; Lea Tahuhu 3/17, Amelia Kerr 3/56) by 62 runs