New Zealand finished the three-match one-day international series against India on a winning note as spinner Anna Paterson and opener Suzie Bates powered them to a comfortable eight-wicket win in Hamilton on Friday. India, who won the first two matches, had already clinched their first-ever bilateral series win against the White Ferns at home.
Set a target of 150, Bates (57 off 64 balls) laid for the platform for the run-chase while captain Amy Satterthwaite scored her second consecutive half century to finish as top-scorer in the match, remaining unbeaten on 66 of 74 balls. New Zealand finished the run chase in 29.2 overs.
The player of the match was Peterson for her bowling figures of 4/28 from 10 overs, that included the wickets of the in-form Smriti Mandhana, India’s top-scorer Deepti Sharma, and Harmanpreet Kaur.
India were undone by good bowling from the hosts as they were bundled out for 149 while batting first. Deepti Sharma was the lone bright spot as she made a fighting 52 off 90 balls in India’s 149 all out. Harmanpreet was the only other player to cross 20 for the visitors.
“I am happy with the first series win in New Zealand. I am happy that youngsters like Deepti [Sharma] and Jemimah [Rodrigues] got runs. We definitely wanted to try a few things. The bowlers have done well through the tournament. But today we didn’t get enough runs,” Raj said in the post-match presentation.
Also read: Mithali Raj becomes the first woman to play 200 ODI matches.
As it turned out, Sedddon Park proved to be a testing venue for both of India’s men and women’s teams. Having sealed the series 3-0, the Rohit Sharma-led side too suffered a heavy loss on Thursday after being bundled out for 92. The ball swung and seamed consistently for the first time in the series, with Trent Boult ripping through Indian batting line-up.
However, spinner caused the damage this time around as Peterson, who opened the bowling with pacer Lea Tahuhu (3/26), taking crucial wickets through her spell.
“We talked a lot about pride and just wanted to bounce back. Really glad that we did. But probably took us a little bit too long,” said White Ferns captain Satterthwaite.
Considering opener Smriti Mandhana’s match-winning performances in the previous two outings, the Indian middle-order did not need to do much. Such was the visitors’ dominance that star player Harmanpreet Kaur batted for the first time in this series on Friday. Her partnership with Sharma looked to put India on course to a defendable total but her unsuccessful charge down the wickets off Peterson saw her get bowled at a crucial juncture, ending the 48-run stand.
Sharma got to her 50 despite wickets tumbling at the other end, with Amelia Kerr dismissing D Hemalatha and Taniya Bhatia (who should have reviewed her LBW decision) in one over. The half centurion departed soon after as well, leaving India well short of a competitive total.
Earlier, in-form Mandhana attempted a big shot against the spin of Peterson to only end up being caught by Sophie Devine. Her opening partner Jemimah Rodrigues fell cheaply too, leaving India at 13 for two in the fifth over.
“I would have been really happy to get some more runs. The first two games were very satisfying, I was happy that I could score the winning runs. It’s a lot of hard work yet to be done. I have to score more, win more matches to be the best in the world,” said player of the series Mandhana reflecting on her performance.
New Zealand chased down the target with ease with veteran Bates (57) and Satterthwaite (66 not out) scoring fine half centuries. Despite losing Lauren Down early, the experienced duo did not go into a shell but instead chose to attack all of India’s spinners. Both of them employed their feet to good effect and did not allow the bowlers to settle into a rhythm. With Bates in attacking form, putting even the good balls away, India stood little chance of defending 150.
Satterthwaite was especially severe on Poonam Yadav, playing proper cricketing shots on her way to a fluent half century.
New Zealand’s overall performance was defined by their aggression, both on the field and with the bat.
With this win, New Zealand leapfrogged India to move back to the second position with 14 points on the ICC Women’s Championship table that determines qualifiers for the 2021 World Cup. Raj and Co are third with 12 points from 11 matches.
(With PTI inputs)