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India vs New Zealand: Mithali-Less India Collapse to Concede First T20I

India lost the first Women’s T20I against New Zealand by 23 runs at Wellington on Wednesday, to go 1-0 behind in the three-match series after looking like they would cruise to an easy win.

Cricketnext Staff |February 6, 2019, 1:21 PM IST
India vs New Zealand: Mithali-Less India Collapse to Concede First T20I

India lost the first Women’s T20I against New Zealand by 23 runs at Wellington on Wednesday, to go 1-0 behind in the three-match series after looking like they would cruise to an easy win. Mithali Raj, who had scores of 51 and 56 in her last two T20Is was excluded from the team.

Batting first, New Zealand lost the wicket of Suzie Bates as early as the second over, deceived by Radha Yadav’s flight and caught by Taniya Bhatia behind the stumps. Sophie Devine and Caitlin Gurrey then scored at a brisk pace till the end of the sixth over, hitting Arundhati Reddy and Radha Yadav to the cleaners.

Gurrey then fell off the last ball of the seventh over, bowled by Poonam Yadav, at a point when the partnership looked promising. It was then the turn of Amy Satterthwaite and Devine to take charge of the innings, and constructed a formidable 69 run-stand for the third wicket that took the total beyond hundred.

This was till Arundhati Reddy broke the stand in the 16th over, removing the dangerous Devine for a well-made 62 off 48 balls.

Satterthwaite was dismissed next but courtesy some big hitting by Katey Martin, New Zealand ended their innings on 159/4.

In reply, India didn’t get off to the best of starts. Priya Punia, who took strike along with Smriti Mandhana soon found herself making the walk back to the pavilion after hitting Amy Satterthwaite for a four in the first over itself, caught by Leigh Kasperek.

Jemimah Rodrigues walked in at number three and saw the second over out, after which the pair of Rodrigues and Mandhana stepped things up. Mandhana in particular signalled her intent early, hitting Lea Tahuhu for consecutive boundaries in the fourth over. She turned her sights to Rosemary Mair next, hitting her for two sixes and one four in an over that eventually yielded eighteen runs, taking India to 46-1 in just five overs.

Inspired by Mandhana, Rodrigues then continued the momentum, hitting Kasperek for three consecutive fours. She looked at ease at the crease, and gathered her runs playing largely with a straight bat.

Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine were brought into the attack by captain Satterthwaite to change things up, but Mandhana and Rodrigues tackled them well, picking up at least one boundary every over till the tenth over and rotating strike regularly. Mandhana brought up her fifty by the end of the halfway mark of the innings, with the Indian score reading 90/1.

However, Mandhana perished while trying to hit out in the 12th over off Amelia Kerr’s bowling, caught brilliantly by Hannah Rowe. In the next over, it was Rodrigues who found herself making the dreaded walk, caught by Katey Martin off the bowling of Tahuhu to suddenly leave India at 107 for three at the end of the 13th over.

It was then up to the new pair of Dayalan Hemalatha and Harmanpreet Kaur to get the Indian innings back on track. But Tahuhu struck again to dismiss Hemalatha, and then Anuja Patil completely changing the course of the run-chase in a matter of two overs.

From that point on, India never really looked in the chase. The pressure piled on the new batsman Arundhati Reddy, and she too was dismissed LBW by Rosemary Mair in the 17th over for two. In the next over, no sooner had Harmanpreet Kaur hit Amelia Kerr for a six over deep square leg than she was stumped off the next ball, as she tried stepping out and hitting the ball for six once again. India were 131/7 after 18 overs.

India lost their next three wickets for just five runs, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma being dismissed in quick succession. India were all out before the twentieth over could be completed for 136, and New Zealand won the game by 23 runs.

With the win, New Zealand have taken a 1-0 lead in the three match T20I series. The next T20I will be played on Friday, February 6th.

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