Smriti Mandhana continued her rich vein of form where she followed up her hundred in the first ODI with a 90-run knock in the second to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead over New Zealand. The left hander’s fiery knock came after a feisty bowling performance led by Jhulan Goswami (3/23) steered the side to a series-clinching eight-wicket triumph. Mandhana has now scored fifties in eight of her 10 previous ODI innings – with 105 runs in the opening ODI.
Opting to field, India produced an excellent effort to dismiss New Zealand for just 161 runs in 44.2 overs before Mandhana and skipper Mithali Raj (63 not out) stitched a 151-run unbroken third-wicket stand to guide the team to a comfortable win. The duo resurrected the chase from 15/2 after the early loss of opener Jemimah Rodrigues (0) and Deepti Sharma (8).
“It feels great but I think our bowlers deserved the player of the match award more than me. I will give it away to our bowlers, they did a great job to restrict New Zealand on a good wicket,” Mandhana said in the post-match presentation.
Raj completed the run chase in style with a six as India reached to 166 for 2 in 35.2 overs. “I am happy with the way the team is shaping up. I have always enjoyed batting in challenging conditions. It wasn’t easy, it required patience here. Smriti is in good form and somebody had to give her support,” Raj said.
India have now taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, which is part of the ICC Women’s Championship series. India had beaten New Zealand in the first one-dayer by nine wickets at the same venue. The third and final match of the series is scheduled to be held in Hamilton on February 1.
It was a fitting revenge for India which had lost the home leg of the ICC Women’s Championship series 1-2 to New Zealand in the last cycle that ran from 2014-2016.
New Zealand are placed second in the ICC Women’s Championship table and are guaranteed a direct entry into the 50-over World Cup being the hosts.
The spin trio of Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma, who had tormented New Zealand in the first game, took two wickets each to stifle the Kiwi innings yet again.
New Zealand captain Amy Satterthwaite top-scored with 71 runs off 87 balls before she became Yadav’s victim in the 34th over. But she got little support from her other team-mates.
“Frustrated to be honest, not putting enough runs on the board. Just comes down to that really,” she said after the match.
The home side were 62 for 5 in the 21st over and despite a spirited effort from Satterthwaite, they were all out for 161 in 44.2 overs, failing to bat through their full quota of overs for the second time in a row.
BRIEF SCORES: New Zealand: 161 (Amy Satterthwaite 71; Jhulan Goswami 3/23) lose to India: 166/2 (Smriti Mandhana 90*, Mithali Raj 63*) by 8 wickets.