ICC Women's Championship: Mandhana stars as India thrash New Zealand

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Jhulan Goswami's 3/23 and half-centuries by Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj helped India thrash New Zealand by eight wickets and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ICC Women's Championship one-day international series here on Tuesday.

Like the first match, New Zealand struggled against India's bowlers. Apart from Amy Satterthwaite, who scored a gritty 71 runs, no other batswomen contributed handsomely as Goswami led the charge and restricted the hosts to a modest 161 at the Bay Oval here, according to an ICC release.

Coming in to bat, India's Mandhana (90 not out) dominated the proceedings, forging an impressive 151-run partnership with Mithali Raj (63 not out off 111) for the third wicket.

But the victory was set up by the bowlers. Goswami's opening over accounted for Suzie Bates for a duck, and that was a big blow for New Zealand. Then, Shikha Pandey trapped Sophie Devine in front for seven.

When Ekta Bisht removed Lauren Down and Amelia Kerr for 15 and 1 respectively, the hosts were left tottering at 38/4. Maddy Green looked to knuckle down with her captain, but fell to Poonam Yadav after a 28-ball 9.

Satterthwaite took the lead and stitched together a relatively brisk 58-run stand with Leigh Kasperek before finally being dismissed by Yadav. There were some handy contributions from the lower order, but Goswami helped end the resistance, dismissing Kasperek and Lea Tahuhu for 21 and 12 respectively.

Goswami finished with 3/23, while Bisht, Deepti Sharma and Yadav chipped in with two wickets each.

India's chase had a rather wobbly start, though, with Anna Peterson and Tahuhu accounting for Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma early. Unfortunately for the hosts, that was all the success they were allowed.

Mandhana just picked up from where she had left off in the first ODI, when she had scored her fourth century in the format. Once again, she scored freely and found a solid partner in captain Raj at the other end.

Raj scored relatively slowly, but hit a couple of sixes off Kasperek, and as the target came in sight she too scored boundaries more regularly.

Mandhana remained unbeaten and her knock featured 13 fours and a six. Raj scored 63 from 111 deliveries, including two sixes and four fours. Her second six brought the winning runs for India.

With the win, India have moved to No.2 on the Championship table, on 12 points after 11 games, ahead of New Zealand on net run-rate.

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