Recent Match Report – IND Women vs NZ Women 3rd ODI 2021/22

Report

An all-star batting effort from the New Zealand middle-order helps them pull off the second-highest successful chase in women’s ODIs

New Zealand 280 for 7 (Kerr 67, Down 64*, Satterthwaite 59, Goswami 3-47) beat India 279 (Deepti 69*, Meghana 61, Verma 51, Mair 2-43, Rowe 2-52) by three wickets

Lauren Down‘s unbeaten 64, and her 76-run partnership with Katey Martin for the seventh wicket, and Frances Mackay‘s cameo down the order helped New Zealand beat India by three wickets in the third ODI and seal the five-match series with two matches to spare in Queenstown on Friday.
When Lea Tahuhu, who went off the field towards the end of the Indian innings because of a hamstring strain, holed out at deep midwicket in the 35th over, New Zealand looked down for the count at 171 for 6, chasing 280. However, Down, who replaced Brooke Halliday in the XI, and Martin kept New Zealand on course with their alliance and tilt the balance.
When the win was sealed, Down hitting Deepti Sharma for a six over the bowler’s head first ball of the final over, it became the second-highest successful chase in all women’s ODI cricket. It also extended India’s losing streak in ODIs while batting first to ten, the last win having come in November 2019.
New Zealand were rocked early in their chase by Jhulan Goswami, who returned to the XI after missing the previous match. She first trapped Sophie Devine in front of the stumps in the first over, before cleaning up her opening partner Suzie Bates in her next.
But Amy Satterthwaite then got going with Amelia Kerr to bring New Zealand back on track. The two found the ropes regularly as New Zealand got to 58 for 2 after the powerplay. They were also helped by a couple of dropped chances – Deepti and S Meghana spilt chances off Satterthwaite, while Deepti also let go of a tough chance from Kerr and wore it on her foot.
The introduction of spin led to Satterthwaite employing the sweep, often playing the shot to deliveries well outside off. She brought up her 26th ODI fifty in some style and looked unstoppable, until she gave Mithali Raj catching practice at mid-on off Goswami’s bowling. That ended the 103-run stand between Satterthwaite and Kerr.
Kerr, who had scored an unbeaten century in the second match, took over after that with her sweeps and cuts. There was hardly a dot ball as Kerr and Maddy Green moved quickly, and Kerr brought up her third ODI fifty soon after.
However, with the required rate creeping up, Kerr looked to take on birthday girl Sneh Rana and holed out at long-on when on 67. And then, debutant Renuka Singh Thakur, one of five changes India made on the day, knocked Green’s stumps back for her maiden wicket in ODIs.

India had a chance at that stage, but Down, Martin and Mackay ensured the result went New Zealand’s way.

Earlier, India, again without Smriti Mandhana – she has finished her quarantine but “MIQ rules,” coach Ramesh Powar said, kept her out – were asked to bat first and were given a fast start by openers Meghana and Shafali Verma. The pair added 100 for the opening wicket in just 13 overs.

Meghana brought up her maiden international half-century, while Verma got to her second in the format. New Zealand’s butter-fingered fielding helped them along.

Meghana was unafraid to play over the infield and hit the first six of the match off Hannah Rowe, who was taken for 16 runs in the fourth over of the game. Verma, on the other hand, played second fiddle but not without some big hits of her own. She was happy to cash in on any width provided either by Tahuhu or Rowe, and was patient in ducking and leaving balls that caused her discomfort.
But Rosemary Mair bounced Meghana out and then did the same to Yastika Bhatia.
Soon, Verma was dismissed by Kerr for a well-made 51. When Harmanpreet Kaur and Raj also fell with India yet to reach 190, the visitors’ hopes of a tall score faded.

But Deepti chipped in with an attacking 69. She peppered the on-side boundary at will, using Rowe and Mair’s angle into her from around the stumps to explore the arc between midwicket and fine leg. She also used the sweep to good effect against Mackay and Satterthwaite, as India made 279, their highest ODI score in the last four years and second-best since the Women’s World Cup, back in 2017.

S. Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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