New Zealand cruises past India as the Blues taste their first defeat
The Blues were off a good start with a big win over rivals Pakistan in their opening fixture whereas the hosts lost in the opening match of their campaign in a last-over thriller against the West Indies. Both sides were looking for a win and it was the hosts that picked up their first win of the tournament.
The White Ferns continued their domination over The Women in Blue! India was hoping to exact revenge today for their 4-1 bilateral ODI series loss against the same opposition. However, that was not the case today as New Zealand outclassed India in all departments today.
After an early run out of Suzie Bates in the first innings, Sophie Devine got New Zealand off to a flier scoring 35 runs off 30 balls. Amelia Kerr and Amy Satterthwaite then came to the party smashing half-centuries each to leave New Zealand hopeful of setting a score in excess of 275. A late surge by the Indian bowlers stifled their innings towards the end and the Indian batters were asked to chase 261 to win the game.
Pooja Vastrakar and Rajeshwari Gayakwad were the best openers for the Blues as they helped their side restrict their opponents to a competitive total with the duo picking up a total of six wickets between themselves.
Huge expectations rested on Smriti Mandhana’s shoulders but Jess Kerr had other ideas. A packed off-side field frustrated Mandhana she failed to get even one shot through the gap, ultimately driving one uppishly straight into the hands of Suzie Bates in the cover region.
The second wicket too fell quickly after. A period of consolidation followed where Mithali Raj and Yastika Bhatia stitched together a small partnership but the Indians kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Harmanpreet Kaur showed her class towards the back end of the innings, changing gears and smashing 71 runs off 63 balls to keep the Indian hopes alive.
But once she fell, the conclusion was drawn. New Zealand ensured India did not bat the entire 50 overs and dismissed the entire team by the 47th over. New Zealand secured their second victory of the campaign and handed India their first defeat.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj was a tad disappointed with the performance of her batters tonight as was somewhat vocal about their performance.
Speaking during the post-match presentation, Raj spoke about the performance,
“New Zealand bowlers bowled at the right areas, and we struggled today. We could have done better with the bat. We needed a set batter throughout the innings. I think if you see if you need to get 250-260, you need the batting to click.”
“The bowlers clicked today and in the previous game, but going into the next game, our batters have to click to move forward in this tournament. We are disappointed with the loss but hope we will come back strong in 48 hours’ time against the West Indies on Saturday.”
Satterthwaite was awarded the player of the match for her knock of 75 runs as she helped her side win their second consecutive fixture in a row after their early loss at the hands of West Indies. A world cup campaign that is shaping up nicely, it will be interesting to see where do both teams go from here.