2nd T20I – New Zealand Women clinch series in last ball thriller

India women were looking to level the series in the second T20. Smriti Mandhana and Priya Punia were on the crease as soon as New Zealand women won the toss and elected to field first. Mithali Raj was again not included in the playing XI. India’s start was not very impressive as Smriti Mandha was dropped by Hannah Rowe in the third over of the innings. While Smriti Mandhana was saved, Priya Punia was caught by Amy Satterthwaite off Sophie Devine in the same over. Jemimah Rodriguez and Smriti Mandhana kept raining boundaries, taking the advantage of field restrictions. After 6 overs, India was at 52 runs for a loss of a wicket.

2nd T20I - New Zealand Women clinch series in last ball thriller

Jemimah Rodriguez and Smriti Mandhana brought their 50-run partnership in 29 balls. While trying to score runs on newbie Rosemary Mair’s ball, Smriti Mandhana threw her wicket to a catch by Suzie Bates. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur promoted herself up in the batting order at No. 4 but could not contribute more than a boundary. Dayalan Hemalatha had to return after getting retired hurt in order to save her wicket from a run out.
Deepti Sharma, who came in to bat at No. 8 in the first match was run out by a direct hit by Katey Martin just after 100 coming up for India. Jemimah Rodriguez welcomed her half-century with a four in 40 balls. India was 115 for a loss of 4 wickets after 18 overs. 19
th over proved to be expensive for white ferns as Amelia Kerr who had given only 16 runs in her 3 over spell, went for 14 runs on the first four balls. Jemimah was stumped on the very next ball after scoring 72 runs from 53 balls. The last over saw Arundhati Reddy going for a big shot and getting caught by Amelia Kerr off Rosemary Mair. India women finished their 20 over innings at 135/6.

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Kiwi openers Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine started the innings proving to be expensive on Indian bowlers until Radha Yadav bowled Sophie Devine in the 5th year. At the end of powerplay, New Zealand women were 35/1, leveling the run rate and the required run rate. Radha Yadav got her second wicket after Caitllin Gurrey was caught by Mansi Joshi. Indian bowlers were doing a good job of restricting the opponents to not take the full advantage of a good batting pitch. Halfway through the innings, New Zealand was 61/2 with Bates and Satterthwaite on the crease. Bates scored her 21st half-century in T20 International and New Zealand were 37 runs and 6 overs away from winning the series. Poonam Yadav broke the strong standing partnership and Satterthwaite had to walk to the pavilion. Suzie Bates’ wicket was a big shock for hosts and kept India alive in the match. Jemimah Rodriguez took a good catch off Arundhati Reddy’s ball and India was still in the match to save the series. Reddy took second wicket of the over and Anna Peterson was gone for a duck. Deepti Sharma bowled a tight 19th over by giving away only 5 runs and white ferns needed 9 runs of the last over. The match was nerve-racking until the last ball but New Zealand women made it and sealed the series by taking a lead of 2-0.  Sophie Devine was declared Player of the Match.

Captain Harmanpreet kaur said that they were 20 runs short but bowlers still kept them in the game until the last ball. The second T20 of the series was India women’s 100th T20 International. Out of their 100 T20s, India has won 53 and lost 45 matches. India would look forward to a consolation win on 10th February during the third and the last match of the T20 series as the guests would not like to come back home with a clean sweep in T20 series after winning the ODI series.

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Brief scores:
nd T20- New Zealand won by 4 wickets.
India women: 135/6 (20) ; New Zealand women: 136/6 (20)

1st T20I – Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and middle order collapses, New Zealand win

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