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Mandhana, Rodrigues power India to nine wickets win over New Zealand
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Mandhana, Rodrigues power India to nine wickets win over New Zealand

Agency News

Napier, Jan 24: A day after Virat Kohli-led India side-crushed New Zealand by eight wickets here at McLean Park, riding on Smriti Mandhana's ton (105) and Jemima Rodrigues' half century (81 not out), the Indian women team thrashed the Kiwis by nine wickets in the first ICC Women's Championship One-Day International (ODI), on Thursday.

With the help of Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav and Deepthi Sharma's spin bowling, who jointly registered a brilliant figure of 8/101 in 29 overs, Mithali Raj-led side bowled New Zealand out for a paltry score of 192 in 48.4 overs and then chased down the target with nine wickets and more than 17 overs to spare.

Chasing the small target, Indian openers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues turned the chase into a non-contest with a 190-run partnership, the highest for the opening stand for any team in ODIs against the host.

India, after opting to bowl, had New Zealand bowled out for 192, despite Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine putting on 61 for the opening wicket. The Indian spinners took eight wickets between them, with Ekta Bisht (3/32) and Poonam Yadav (3/42) taking three wickets each, and Deepti Sharma ending with an extremely economical 2/27.
Under their new coach WV Raman, the visitors played tremendously.

New Zealand needed early wickets to defend their total, but Mandhana and Rodrigues both settled down quite quickly.

They added 53 in the first ten overs, and in the 11th, Mandhana shifted gears, hammering two fours and a massive six off Holly Huddleston, the medium pacer. She completed her half-century off just 43 balls, while Rodrigues scored her first half-century– her first in ODIs off 60 balls.

Earlier, the bowlers laid the foundation for the victory, but for a while there, Bates and Devine had the measure of India. Their 61-run opening stand gave the home side a fine start, but three quick wickets thereafter derailed the innings.

Later, the stand was broken when Devine was run out by Deepti Sharma for a 38-ball 28. Yadav then deceived Lauren Down to have her stumped for nought before Sharma got the big wicket of Bates (36 off 54). New Zealand were suddenly 70/3.

Amy Satterthwaite, the captain, and Amelia Kerr steadied things with a 49-run stand, but the run-rate had slowed to a crawl. Inevitably, the pressure built up, and the middle order collapsed. Yadav had both Satterthwaite (31 off 45) and Kerr (28 off 60) dismissed, and Bisht and Sharma made the most of the breakthrough.

Hannah Rowe scored a valiant 36-ball 25 late in the innings, and that helped boost the total to the 190s. However, with Mandhana and Rodrigues in full flow, the total was far from sufficient.

The next match of the series will be played in Mount Maunganui on January 29. (UNI)