A candid Mithali Raj in the post-match interview:

-Had a prep camp but there’s been a huge camp with quarantines. Important to get used to conditions. 

 -Good comeback with bowling in latter half once they got to used to windy conditions

 -We should be able to score 270 because that’s the standard in the game now. Missed the experience of Mandhana for chasing a target like that. The batters, we need to have a certain Run Rate to maintain through the innings so that we score 250-270.

Player of the match: Suzie Bates, of course. 11th ODI century.

INDIA 213 all out (49.4 overs), NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 62 RUNS: Jess Kerr finishes with two wickets in two balls... 4/35 for the seamer (a penny for Shikha Pandey’s thoughts!) Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad caught behind and bowled respectively.

India 212/8 after 49 overs: Last over coming up. At least India batted more overs than New Zealand... silver lining (not really).

India 207/8 after 48 overs: Poonam plays out four dot balls in the 48th over. Not sure much else to say apart from that.

Over WICKET! 46.2: Pooja Vastrakar 23(29) ct Suzie Bates b Hayley Jensen Another skier from Vastrakar, Bates was never going to drop that at mid-off. India 201/8

India 198/7 after 46 overs: Impressive timing there by Vastrakar as she drives through cover for four. She has had her lives but if Vastrakar can finish with a good cameo here, it can be a positive for India going forward.

India 190/7 after 45 overs: India need 86 off 30 balls. Just a question of whether Vastrakar can get some useful hitting time in the middle now.

WICKET! Over 43.6: Deepti Sharma 16(24) ct Maddy Green b Amelia Kerr Deepti Sharma never really got going. (Really have to question India persisting with her high up the order. Green with a juggling act to take that catch at long on. India 190/7

India 188/6 after 43 overs: A moment of utter chaos. Deepti Sharma ran about 2 and a half runs for one run. First, Satterthwaite misses a throw and it goes to square leg, but India cannot make the most of it with running between the wickets. Sums it up, really

India 180/6 after 42 overs: Ouch, Deepti Sharma hits the non-striker Vastrakar on her hand and she is out of crease at the point. But just about gets back in as Kerr broke the stumps. Decent over for India otherwise, Vastrakar finding a boundary through midwicket.

India 173/6 after 41 overs: Another life for Vastrakar, Jensen unlucky as Tahuhu drops a rather simple high catch (windy as it is).

India 169/6 after 40 overs: The last 10 is upon us... India need 107 from 60 balls.

India 165/6 after 39 overs: The commentators tell us there have been 14 bowling changes in this innings by NZ. Devine has mixed things up. Vastrakar and Deepti in the middle, the former survives a return catch chance.

WICKET! Over 37.3: Richa Ghosh 22(27) st Katey Martin b Hannah Rowe End of a good little innings by Ghosh but she falls going for a big shot. Seemed to be deceived by a change of pace. Great stumping by Martin but surely that had to be referred to the third umpire? India 164/6

India 163/5 after 36 overs: 5 singles in Tahuhu’s over. India need 113 from 13 overs. Getting away from them. Richa is timing the ball alright now, can she play a big innings?

India 158/5 after 35 overs: Jensen with a desperate fielding effort, third umpire rules she has saved one. Maybe not the right call but full marks for the effort.

(Score corrected)

India 154/5 after 35 overs: Deepti and Richa Ghosh in the middle now. The latter takes on Lea Tahuhu, plays one of the shots of the day for six.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s ODI form is surely a concern for India but they will hope she can find her groove in time for the World Cup. She is a big stage player, but the runs need to start coming quickly.

Harmanpreet Kaur in ODIs since 2021

Runs SR Opposition Ground Start Date
10 45.45 v NZ Queenstown 12 Feb 2022
16 42.10 v ENG Worcester 3 Jul 2021
19 48.71 v ENG Taunton 30 Jun 2021
1 14.28 v ENG Bristol 27 Jun 2021
30* 54.54 v SA Lucknow 17 Mar 2021
54 154.28 v SA Lucknow 14 Mar 2021
36 78.26 v SA Lucknow 12 Mar 2021
DNB - v SA Lucknow 9 Mar 2021
40 97.56 v SA Lucknow 7 Mar 2021
via Statsguru

WICKET! Over 32.4: Harmanpreet Kaur 10(22) ct Brooke Halliday b Jess Kerr: Harmanpreet Kaur looks to accelerate, gets no timing on the slog sweep. Out for 10 off 22 balls. Jess Kerr with potentially a game-changing spell. , India 139/5

India 137/4 after 32 overs: Right, time for a drinks break. Richa Ghosh is off to a streaky start but she is still there. Harmanpreet Kaur on 9 off 20 balls. She can catch up in no time, but it has to start happening now you’d think. Required rate nearing 8.00.

WICKET! 30.3: Mithali Raj 59(73) ct Amelia Kerr b Jess Kerr: Four and out! A huge wicket for New Zealand. Mithali Raj was well set and timing the ball brilliantly. A square drive, but couldn’t keep it down. Sliced it. That was a fine innings though. Good signs for India how well she was timing the ball once she got her eye in. India 130/4

End of 30 overs. India 126/3. The required rate at 7.50 now. India have their captain and vice captain in the middle. Still very much gettable.

India 121/3 after 29 overs: Kerrs bowling in tandem now. India’s required rate gone up to 7.38 now. Harman has got her eyes in, you’d think an acceleration is due.

India 119/3 after 28 overs: There was barely any celebration after that 50 by Mithali

HALF CENTURY FOR MITHALI RAJ: 60TH HALF CENTURY IN ODIs! Just Mithali Raj things. Comes off 63 balls as she pulls one for four.

India 108/3 after 26 overs: Things have slowed down for India in the last 5 overs, and the wicket won’t help either now. Required rate 7 now.

India 105/3 after 25 overs: Nice coincidence eh? India need 171 runs from here.

WICKET! Over 24.4: Yastika Bhatia 41(63) ct Maddy Green b Hayley Jensen: Short ball, was there to be put away but Bhatia finds the fielder in the deep with precision. Even Jensen knows she got a bit lucky there. End of a solid innings from the left-hander. India 105/3

India 104/2 after 24 overs: The best over that AKerr has bowled today. Gets her flight and control of length right, and it is something you see with leggies a lot.

India 101/2 after 23 overs: No chances taken again Tahuhu again. The 100 comes up in that over.

India 98/2 after 22 overs: You could say now it is a proper tactic to go after AKerr’s leg spin every chance possible. 8 runs from that over, without a boundary. NZ did a lot of that. Good signs for India.

India 90/2 after 21 overs: Tahuhu comes back as Devine recognises the need for a breakthrough here. Couple of good bouncers in that over, a mishit from Bhatia lands safe.

India 88/2 after 20 overs: The partnership is now worth 71 runs and both batters are striking at over 70.0. No chances taken against Devine but this partnership has kept India right in the mix.

India 85/2 after 19 overs: India are not looking to unsettle AKerr early. Good call, that. Mithali gets another four in that over, with a generous hand from Jensen in the deep. Bhatia should have put away a rank full toss at the end there, but found the fielder in the deep.

India 78/2 after 18 overs: Devine brings herself on just as NZ are allowing India to take control. And bowls a tight over, that her side needed. And once again, India’s poor running between the wickets on display.

India 75/2 after 17 overs: A 9-run over from Amelia Kerr and India keep the required rate in check. Mithali Raj finishes the over with a superb pull for six. Terrific placement there.

A close call for Mithali Raj in one of the previous overs. But it was a really tough catch at square leg. Time for some spin with AKerr after drinks break.

India 66/2 after 16 overs: Five singles in that Jensen over. Time for a drinks break.

India 61/2 after 15 overs: She had to walk in to do a repair job again... but this is where you have to wonder. Surely Mithali Raj can go better than 15 off 29 balls even in this situation? A batter of her quality and range of strokes? Anyway, India keep the scoreboard ticking.

India 56/2 after 14 overs: Another boundary for Bhatia, pouncing a short of length ball from Jensen and timing it beautifully for four over midwicket. India need more of those, the required rate has gone past six.

India 52/2 after 13 overs: Good little phase for India this. Bhatia finds another boundary, a lofted square drive over point off Rowe.

India 42/2 after 12 overs: Bhatia welcomes Jensen with a pull through mid-on for four.

India 36/2 after 11 overs: Yastika needs some momentum and she finds the boundary to start the 11th over bowled by JKerr.

India 29/2 after 10 overs: A boundary for captain off captain but that’s the end of a fantastic first 10 for New Zealand. Couldn’t have asked for much more to start their defence.

India 25/2 after 9 overs: Too many dot balls at the moment. Early wickets don’t help, of course. Bhatia plays out a cautious over against JKerr.

India 24/2 after 8 overs: Just two runs for a delightful cover drive by Bhatia that went all the way close to the boundary at this venue. And nearly a runout. That’s really poor.

India 21/2 after 7 overs: This, one would imagine, is the exact scenario that India DON’T want to find themselves in. Quick wickets with not much on board and Mithali Raj walking in to do a repair job. Tahuhu tests Raj’s reflexes with a superb short ball in that over, well left by the skipper.

WICKET! Over 5.2: Shafali Verma 12(16) lbw Sophie Devine: Oh dear. Shafali Verma just completely misses a straight full toss. Might have been a slight change of pace but really, that’s as soft a dismissal as it could be. India 17/2

WICKET! Over 4.4: Sabbhineni Meghana 4(14) ct Maddy Green b Lea Tahuhu: S Meghana’s debut ODI innings is a shortlived one. One ball after surviving a big appeal for caught behind, she is out caught at slip. Lea Tahuhu strikes, sharp catch from Green to her left. Not easy that. India 13/1

India 8/0 after 4 overs: The restlessness is evident in Shafali there. Couple of false shots in the Kerr over, both times lucky to avoid finding the fielders.

India 4/0 after 3 overs: The first runs for India, as Meghana square cuts Tahuhu for four. Gets beaten a couple of times too. Great start this by the NZ pacers.

India 0/0 after 2 overs: India’s run chase begins with 12 dot balls. Two maiden overs, from Tahuhu and then Jess Kerr. The latter already has the keeper standing up to Verma. The Indian opener doesn’t like to be kept stuck in the crease. Great over that.

India 0/0 after 1 over: Meghana starts with a couple of confident drives off Tahuhu but finds the fielders. A maiden over from the NZ lead pacer.

Interesting... no left-right combo today to open the batting, just Meghana slotting in for Mandhana. Presumably because India want Yastika Bhatia to bat where she is going to rest of this tour. Here we go.

Target for India 276: Not so good news for India fans, the team needs their highest ever run-chase in ODIs to win this match. Good news, India’s record for the highest successful run-chase came in the last ODI they played. A streak-ending one against Australia.

NEW ZEALAND ALL OUT FOR 275 (48.1 overs): India can walk off the field in good spirits. New Zealand were looking set for 300 when Suzie Bates got her century but the visitors have finished strongly. Gayakwad gets the last wicket as Jess Kerr finds the fielder at point.

NZ 275/9 after 48 overs: Jhulan, not having the best of days, finishes well with 2/58. Can NZ bat out 50 overs here?

WICKET! 47.1: Brooke Halliday 6(7) ct Richa Ghosh b Jhulan Goswami: The wickets keep coming for India. Halliday edges one behind trying to work one down to third. New Zealand 269/9

WICKET! Over 46.3: Hayley Jensen 6(3) ct Mithali Raj b Rajeshwari Gayakwad: Hayley Jensen is out caught at cover by the Indian captain, Rajeshwari Gayakwad gets her first wicket. New Zealand 265/8

WICKET! Over 45.5: Amy Satterthwaite 63(67) ct Richa Ghosh b Jhulan Goswami: Jhulan Goswami gets the big wicket of Amy Satterthwaite, Richa Ghosh (who has had a tough time behind the stumps) takes a low catch off what seemed to be a feather edge. India finishing well. New Zealand 258/7

WICKET! Over 44.3: Katey Martin 6(4) Run Out Pooja Vastrakar: BRILLIANCE FOR VASTRAKAR! That should really count as her wicket. NZ try to steal a single, the seamer does well on her followthrough to get a direct hit diving forward. New Zealand 250/6

NZ 246/5 after 44 overs: 39-year-old Jhulan Goswami running in and bowling to 37-year-old Katey Martin and 35-year-old Amy Satterthwaite. Age, just a number eh? Jhulan will not be pleased with the number of boundaries she has conceded today, another through legside in that over.

NZ 236/5 after 43 overs: Time for Jhulan Goswami, can she finish strongly here?

WICKET! Over 42.3: Lea Tahuhu 8(7) ct Harmanpreet Kaur b Pooja Vastrakar: Good phase for India, this. Vastrakar has another as Tahuhu (sent in with a mandate to keep attacking) finds Kaur at long on. She hardly drops these chances, the Indian VC. New Zealand 236/5

Fifty for Amy Satterthwaite: The veteran has played a superbly controlled innings. Such an efficient batter at her best, gets there off just 51 balls. Tahuhu is the new batter in, and she has already gotten going with an early four.

WICKET! Over 40.3: Sophie Devine 13(15) ct Mithali Raj b Pooja Vastrakar: Would have been criminal if Vastrakar finished without a wicket today. She gets Devine, as Mithali Raj (safest pair of hands perhaps) takes a catch at cover. Good field placement too to keep attacking Devine early. New Zealand 222/4

NZ 220/3 after 40 overs: Pooja Vastrakar unlucky once again. She should have had Suzie Bates early, and now she should have had Sophie Devine early too. Richa Ghosh drops a catch. Nice to see Jhulan Goswmai have a few words with the allrounder. Poonam then bowls a 5-run over. Final 10 coming up!

NZ 208/3 after 38 overs: Decent over there by Poonam Yadav, India need to get Devine early to prevent this from getting out of hand.

WICKET! Over 36.6: Suzie Bates 106(111) ct Shafali Verma b Deepti Sharma Suzie Bates falls looking to accelerate further after her century. End of a fine innings on 106. Finds the fielder at deep midwicket. And who walks in? Just someone named Sophie Devine, no biggie. New Zealand 204/3

Take a bow, Suzie Bates! ODI century No 11 for the New Zealand opener. (She is one of only two batters in the world with double digits for centuries count in ODIs apart from Meg Lanning). Excellent innings! Made the most of the early chance... continuing her brilliant form from the domestic circuit, back in form as far as ODIs are concerned.

NZ 192/2 after 35 overs: Another good over for NZ, without a boundary off it. Nine runs off Deepti Sharma’s 7th. More good running between the wickets. Bates on to 97.

Will be interesting to see how India go about their batting in this ground, based on how well New Zealand have done with their running between the wickets. Taking one for the throw pretty much every time the ball goes to the deep.

NZ 183/2 after 34 overs: No boundaries, still 6 runs in that over. Been a feature of this batting effort from NZ.

NZ 177/2 after 33 overs: Satterthwaite has found the boundary off consecutive overs, so strong on the leg side. Bates moves into the 90s with a brilliant shot over midwicket for four. NZ on the charge!

NZ 166/2 after 32 overs: Bates gets into a tangle trying to push one on the legside against Gayakwad. Only a half-hearted appeal from India but that looked really close. No DRS of course.

NZ 159/2 after 31 overs: Jhulan Goswami has set such standards for herself that we may tend to forget how hard it can be to find rhythm between series. She has been punished every time she dropped short to Bates today. Two fours to start that over, Bates is on 86 as we head for DRINKS.

NZ 149/2 after 30 overs: If NZ even get a tad over run-a-ball from the last 20, they are going to get to a really tough total to overcome. 5 runs from that Deepti over.

NZ 144/2 after 29 overs: Another solid over for NZ. Satterthwaite with a well-time cut for four off Goswami, who has just bowled a few more shorter balls than she would have liked today.

Only one boundary between overs 23-28. But 31 runs came off those 5 overs.

NZ 137/2 after 28 overs: Another over of ones and twos... (and a three). Brilliant middle overs batting this, by White Ferns. Good use of the sweep too against spinners. 8 run from Deepti’s over. India turn to Jhulan Goswami now.

NZ 129/2 after 27 overs: NZ get six runs off that Poonam Yadav over without breaking too much of sweat.

NZ 123/2 after 26 overs: 0/30 in her 4 overs for Kaur, that might be enough for the VC today. She hasn’t been able to control the run-flow. A four for Bates, brilliantly placed through the gap between two fielders in the deep on the leg side.

NZ 116/2 after 25 overs: Halfway stage, with Sophie Devine still to bat, White Ferns are in a great position. Poonam beat Satterthwaite once in that over, nearly inside edged on to the stumps / WK.

NZ 111/2 after 24 overs: Kaur with a five-run over.

Amy Satterthwaite is the new batter in. The veteran LHB will look to bat deep with so much firepower still left in this NZ batting lineup.

WICKET! Over 22.4: Amelia Kerr 33(39) b Poonam Yadav: There’s a breakthrough. Poonam Yadav brought back on, Kerr tries to get cheeky by moving across and trying to hit over the leg side (a ploy teams use a lot against PY these days) but the ball hits the top of off. New Zealand 106/2

First time Amelia Kerr batting at No 3 in an ODI for NZ. She spoke about how exciting it is for her to get these chances higher up the order. The only time she batted higher was when she opened against Ireland, she made 232* of course.

NZ 106/1 after 21 overs: Oh, is that a life? There was a noise as Kerr went for a cut against Vastrkar, half hearted appeal from India for caught behind not given. Definite woody sound on the stump mic though. Another good over for NZ, another boundary for Kerr earlier. She is making the most of batting at No 3.

Vastrakar brought back on. India have just lost control of proceedings in the last few overs.

NZ 98/1 after 21 overs: Two fours in one over. Kerr going after Kaur...

HALF CENTURY! Lovely shot through midwicket for four and it is a welcome return to ODI form for Suzie Bates. After scores of 14, 1, 28, 5, 17, 6 in ODIs, a half century for Suzie Bates. When you give class batters a life... she has been terrific since that dropped catch. Batting with great control now. She is making India pay for the second chance they gave her. NZ 88/1 after 20 overs.

NZ 77/1 after 18 overs: Good couple of overs for NZ here. Kerr with a boundary down the ground, nearly taking Bates off this time. Smiles exchanged. Good way to deal with Poonam’s pace or lack thereof, by dancing down the ground and creating momentum.

NZ 69/1 after 17 overs: Bates has been fantastic with her ability to keep the scoreboard ticking with 1s and 2s... more of that in that Deepti Sharma over. She is on 44 now.

NZ 63/1 after 16 overs: Amelia Kerr with some great fielding there for India at the non-striker’s end as she takes one on her back from Bates, ouch! Gayakwad started that over with a peach to beat the NZ opener on turn. (No slip in place though, if that had taken the edge)

NZ 62/1 after 15 overs: DRINKS BREAK: Amelia Kerr, after a patient start, plays a good-looking sweep shot through midwicket for four. A good over from Deepti otherwise, ends going for 7 runs.

The brilliant Amelia Kerr in at No 3.

WICKET! Over 12.2: Maddy Green 17(28) ct Yastika Bhatia b Deepti Sharma: Just as we said that! Pressure pays for India. Deepti Sharma finds the outside edge, Maddy Green trying to force the pace, coming down the track but deceived by one that goes on straight, caught at slip. India needed that. New Zealand 54/1

NZ 53/0 after 12 overs: Maybe these quiet couple of overs can result in some false shots soon... the spinners have started off with good control.

NZ 51/0 after 11 overs: 50-run opening stand comes up in that Deepti Sharma over.

NZ 48/0 after 10 overs: Harmanpreet Kaur is just at a whole other level in this Indian squad when it comes to fielding. Agility, awareness, catching, athleticism... a direct hit from her in that over, Bates was just about in after turning back. Good start from Gayakwad

NZ 46/0 after 9 overs: Absolute peach to bring one back into Maddy Green sharply and beat her on the inside edge. Similar line and length next ball, goes straight on, beaten again. Just Jhulan Goswami things. But still no breakthrough for India. Time for Rajeshwari Gayakwad now, she has making up to do for that dropped catch earlier.

NZ 44/0 after 8 overs: Five dot balls in that Vastrakar over but a short ball to Bates is put away on the leg side four.

NZ 40/0 after 7 overs: great fielding by Meghana at the boundary on leg side after Bates nailed a pull shot, prevents a certain four. Goswami with a steady over from the other end. India need a breakthrough soon, otherwise a deep NZ batting lineup is going to pose some serious problems.

NZ 30/0 after 5 overs: Outside edge found in that Jhulan G over, goes wide of the second slip. Couple of uppish shots too. Bates showing big intent here early on. That really was a big miss in the previous over.

NZ 22/0 after 4 overs: Oh dear! Two chances in one over and both not taken by India. First, Bates cuts one to Rajeshwari Gayakwad at point and it is a simple chance not taken. Then, Green’s outside edge goes between WK and a wide slip. (For a keeper still getting used to the role, that was too big a gap with slip. Not good thinking from India, really). Vastrakar unlucky

NZ 17/0 after 3 overs: Of course, Goswami bounces back with her length and line corrected immediately but she immediately knew she erred with a short ball before that. Tried a bouncer perhaps, but didn’t get up enough. Bates will punish that all day. Good moment there at the end of the over as Jhulan puts an arm on the shoulder of Pooja.

NZ 12/0 after 2 overs: Not the ideal start for Pooja Vastrakar after her good show in the T20. Inconsistent with the lengths, couple of lovely full balls that actually shaped in a tad bit (nice, handy that) but couple of shorter balls to Bates put away for fours. Pooja spoke about working a lot on her new-ball bowling from Australia, she needs to put that over behind her quickly.

NZ 3/0 after 1 over: Surprise, surprise. The first over delivered with trademark consistency of line and length from Jhulan G. One peach that cut Bates into half, moving back in.

India have Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami returning, of course. It is also an ODI debut for S Meghana! National anthems done, we are ready to go. Jhulan G time! Here’s another look at the playing XIs:

All Railways bonding here, lovely moments.


India XI: Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, S Meghana (ODI debut), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav

New Zealand XI: Sophie Devine (C), Amy Satterthwaite (vice-captain), Amelia Kerr, Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Jess Kerr, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.

STAT: Since the India vs South Africa ODI series in 2021, that’s only the third toss that Mithali Raj won across India, England, Australia and now New Zealand. No wonder she has that smile in the photo!

Photo: White Ferns Twitter

TOSS NEWS: INDIA won the toss and elected to field (Via BCCI)

03.00 am: Hello and welcome to the live coverage of New Zealand vs India, the first of five ODIs. Can Mithali Raj & Co begin World Cup prep on right note?

With mandated quarantine set to keep star batter Smriti Mandhana out, the Indian cricket team will look to sort some combination issues when it starts the five-ODI series against New Zealand.

The tour of New Zealand started with a reversal after the visitors went down by 18 runs in the one-off T20I and ODI skipper Mithali Raj will be keen to provide the team a winning start in their 50-over campaign, which is crucial ahead of the ICC World Cup next month.

Squads (via PTI):
India: Mithali Raj (C), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Simran Dil Bahadur.
New Zealand: Sophie Devine (C), Amy Satterthwaite (vice-captain), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Frankie Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.

Match starts at 3:30 AM (IST) and will be streamed live on Amazon Prime in India.

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Amazon Prime